6 Ways to Streamline Evidence

Juries usually base their verdicts on a small number of crucial points. But lawyers tend to offer as much evidence as possible, believing this will make their case more convincing or fearing they’ll leave something out. Finding the fine line between making sure the point isn’t lost and losing the point by insulting jurors with repetition requires thought and preparation. Here are six methods for streamlining the evidence in your next trial. Continue reading

4 Things Expert Witnesses Should Read Before Trial

In addition to the file materials used in preparing for deposition—and that should be reviewed again for trial—there are at least four types of written materials that every expert witness should carefully read and analyze before testifying at trial. Continue reading

Get Your Expert Involved with the Evidence

Despite the political rhetoric, public confidence in scientists has “remained stable for decades.” You can bring this confidence into the courtroom through expert testimony based on the scientific method, i.e., physical observation and testing, not just untested hypotheses. Experts should be “hands on” when it comes to collecting and investigating physical evidence. Continue reading

Outlining a Defense Opening Statement

Ythinkstockphotos-465858364our opening statement is an opportunity to be creative and show your personal style. But as defense counsel, there are points you’ll always want to make; using an outline will help you to stay focused and organized. Continue reading

Prepare Your Expert to Testify: A Checklist

533402213Whenever you have retained an expert witness to testify in your case—whether in deposition or at trial—you need to prepare yourself and the expert. Don’t just sit back and assume that the expert, who many have testified many times before, has it all worked out. You need to be up to speed on his or her testimony and to make sure the expert has enough information to be effective. Continue reading

21 Things to Tell Your Testifying Witness

witness_87617035Before your friendly witness is called to the stand, you should go over some general guidelines with him or her. This is particularly true of inexperienced witnesses, but it can’t hurt to review these admonitions even with someone who’s very experienced in giving trial testimony. You also might want to give them a hard copy to look over just before testifying. Continue reading

Use a Focus Group Before Every Trial

If a full-blown mock trial is out of your budget, then get a focus group together. For the cost of $50 per juror plus pizza, you could spend the most productive and useful evening of your trial preparation. Continue reading

Trial Logistics: 4 Things to Set Up Before Heading to Court

Any trial strategy should incorporate the mundane. Not only must you get to court on time, but everything you need to try the case also has to be there, at your fingertips. Here are four things you should consider and arrange for before you head to court. Continue reading

Don’t Dodge—Defuse: Use Your Opening Statement to Handle Problem Areas

ThinkstockPhotos-140270511Almost every case has problems—sometimes they are analogous to bombs waiting to drop on your case. The key is whether you show them to the jury and simultaneously defuse them, or whether the opposition drops them with glee. Continue reading

12 Must-Do Tasks Before Cross-Examination

Few attorneys have the time or budget to do detailed preparation for cross-examination of every witness. And even if the budget makes it possible, time spent on other aspects of trial preparation will force counsel to take shortcuts. When time is short, these 12 tasks are the bare minimum necessary for cross-examination preparation. Continue reading