When taking or defending a deposition, always keep in mind that you’re making a record for the jury. Sometime later, perhaps years after the deposition took place, a jury may hear parts of the deposition and you want everything to be there and be clear.
“The toughest part of being a trial attorney, whether criminal or civil, is pulling off an excellent cross,” says Toni Messina in her article for Above the Law. So, if you’re a new trial attorney, or it’s been a while, it’s natural to be nervous about an upcoming cross-examination. An excellent way to calm your nerves and set yourself up for success is to write down virtually all of your questions and related information in advance. Here’s what to write.
Before you prepare a witness for trial, you should know precisely what you expect to accomplish through that witness. In other words, have a plan.
If properly prepared, your testifying client will be relaxed, confident, natural—and a master of pertinent facts. But no one can behave naturally on the stand while trying to keep in mind 50 different facts. When you’re preparing your client to testify, your job is to narrow the case to a few important facts and then fix them in your client’s mind.