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Before You Cross-Examine, Write This Down

“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. Continue reading

How to Prepare a Trial Outline

ThinkstockPhotos-459334539Heading to trial? Start your planning by preparing a trial outline. Here are the key things to include and a sample outline to give you an idea how it looks. Continue reading

Make a Plan for Each Witness

85449216Before you prepare a witness for trial, you should know precisely what you expect to accomplish through that witness. In other words, have a plan. Continue reading

5 Steps to Fixing the Facts in Your Client’s Mind

176421487If 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. Continue reading

Your Trial Notebook Starts with Your Files

files_163042Not sure where to begin on your trial notebook? Start with your office files. Continue reading

Organizing Discovery

table_165508067For discovery to be useful in a case, it must be organized. One effective way to organize discovery is with an issue table. Issue tables are a way to keep track of the main issues, the elements of the claims and defenses, and the relevant evidence. Continue reading

11 Steps to Preparing Your Trial Notebook

One of the most important tasks when preparing a case for trial is to prepare a trial notebook with everything you’ll need or want during trial.  Don’t create your trial notebook to impress a client, an adversary, or another lawyer in your office (although it may do so!); your notebook should reflect your personal style and the particular requirements of the case.

The following should be included in the preparation of your trial notebook: Continue reading

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