Podcast - Rule 1: Witness, Take Your Time
In the latest episode of his "Powerful Witness Preparation" podcast series, Witness, Take Your Time, litigation attorney Dan Small begins an in-depth 10-part series on the rules for witness preparation. He explains that there are no shortcuts when it comes to witness preparation. This is why the first rule for witnesses is that they must take their time. He gives two key tips for witnesses to keep in mind when taking their time:
1. Multitasking - a witness must take their time to make sure they heard the question clearly, understand the question fully, consider their answer carefully, formulate a clear and thoughtful answer and then state it slowly and succinctly. Formulating a clear response can only be done if they take their time.
2. Fairness - In testimony one of the “players” is invincible. If the questioner makes the first mistake it doesn’t matter because they are not under oath. A witness is under oath and their words will be recorded and will live on forever. The first way to lessen this unfairness is to slow the process down.
He finishes by explaining that taking control as a witness does not mean anything unpleasant. It actually means the witness understands that their role requires them to take their time to make sure that they do it right regardless if that results in them doing it at a pace that someone else considers too slow.