8 Ways to Make Calling Witnesses More Dramatic

As a trial attorney, never forget your role as director of the courtroom play. Consider these staging decisions when it comes to calling witnesses. Continue reading

These Statements Aren’t Hearsay, Even If Admitted for Their Truth

There are several types of statements that, although sought to be admitted in evidence for their underlying truth, aren’t considered hearsay. This means you can get them into evidence and no hearsay exception need apply. Continue reading

6 Sources to Use When Preparing Voir Dire Questions

As you work on your questions to ask the jurors during voir dire, consider these six sources for ideas. Continue reading

Don’t Do These 4 Things During Your Closing Argument

The permissible scope of counsel’s closing arguments before a jury is broad, but there are limits. Here are 4 things that tread into improper territory. Continue reading

Need Another Expert? Here’s How to Augment Your Expert Designation

When you need another expert to support your client’s case or there’s a change in the general substance of a  previously designated expert, you’ll need to move to augment or amend your expert witness declaration. Continue reading

Is there Any Marital Privilege Left After Divorce?

As Joseph DeAngelo (the “East Area Rapist”) may soon find out, a divorced spouse can spill a lot of beans. He was separated from his wife for years, but she’s just made divorce official and that’s a boon for the prosecution in his upcoming trial. But is she still limited in what she can say? Continue reading

How to Rehab Your Witness

What can you do if your witness’s truthfulness has been challenged? Use evidence of the witness’s prior consistent statement to rehabilitate your witness. Here’s how it’s done. Continue reading

7 Questions to Answer Before Using Opinion Character Evidence

There are situations in which you may want to introduce opinion character evidence at trial. But before you use a character witness in a civil case, ask yourself the following questions. Continue reading

How to Control an Expert Witness

As with all witnesses, you must be able to control an expert witness during cross-examination. But many experts with experience in testifying treat cross-examiners like presidential candidates deal with the press: they ignore the question asked and answer the question they prefer. Here’s how to keep experts under your control. Continue reading

What to Do a Month Before Trial

You’re 30 days from your trial date. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve gotten this close, or maybe it’s your first time. Don’t worry—here’s a handy chart setting out what you need to do. Continue reading