“Quality is not expensive, it is priceless.”
Cases are often won and lost due to the testimony of an expert witness. Not only are expert witnesses expensive, but how they testify to the jury and how they present themselves and the facts can make or break a case.
We assist you to locate the right expert witness and provide options on how to better train your witness for deposition testimony or trial. Have you considered the following:
Whether their communication is effective
- Remind your expert not to get defensive if they feel under threat by a line of questioning. Remind them you have their interest in mind and can object to the line of questioning.
- Remember, the objective of a cross-examination is not to pick a fight with the attorney or prove your point, but rather an opportunity to present evidence and create a stronger case to the jury.
- Maintaining a resolve. Do not be overcome by emotions or get flustered under pressure.
- Staying CALM and COMPOSED is THE most important job for an expert witness.
- Remember to stop, breathe and think about the question before responding. Never feel obligated to respond under pressure, if indecisive or even respond too quickly.
All eyes are on you!
Appearance, demeanor, posture and word choice – these have an influence on the juror and subliminally speak to the overall preparation and credibility of your witness. Ofttimes it is easy to forget the little things that make a big difference in the overall trial presentation.
- Make sure your expert dresses professionally and appropriately for court.
- Avoid wearing any flashy jewelry or “loud” articles of clothing. These distract jurors from your testimony. You want people to remember you and not what you wore.
- If needed, perform dress rehearsals with your witness.
- Do not over-prepare the witness. Testimony can be seen as fabricated or rehearsed.
- Keep eye-contact with the jury and engage them visually.
- Maintain body posture and don’t fidget. Keep arm gestures within your personal space.
- Consistent speaking volume helps the jury focus on your words and not your volume.
- Answers should be concise, clear and free of “uhh’s” and “ah-ha’s”.
- Avoid key phrases and general repetition of catch phrases.
- Curtail other distracting habits such as:
- Fidgeting with pens or pencils
- Rocking back and forth in the witness seat
- Playing with a watch or jewelry
Using technology to gain advantage at trial is becoming the norm in litigation. Technology such as white boards, 3D imagery displays, Picture in Picture multimedia or even iPads can be tricky, especially if used in a new location. Be sure to:
- Practice, practice, practice using your new equipment to avoid failures at trial.
- Remember all necessary wires, chargers, adapters, converters, flash drives and whatever other accessories or gadgets you may need.
- Call ahead to ensure your courtroom has the necessary technology facilities to meet your needs for presenting at trial.
Always remember that trials are unpredictable and the best insurance you have for a smooth trial is preparation. Meticulous preparation of your expert witness, trial equipment and war room functionality
BEGIN WITH THE END GOAL IN MIND!