Podcast: Witness Preparation is Okay
In the latest episode of his "Powerful Witness Preparation" podcast series, Witness Preparation is Okay, litigation attorney Dan Small shares how to overcome the misconception that preparing for trial is cheating the system. There are four parts that counsel must address with their witness in order to make them feel more at ease during the preparation process.
1) Witness Preparation is Okay - Despite a suspicious tone a questioner may use to raise the issue, witness preparation is normal and necessary. Being a witness is a difficult and unnatural process. Counsel would not be doing their job if they did not fully prepare a witness.
2) All Counsel Wants is the Truth - Many witnesses don't know this or don't believe it. You have to tell them. It doesn't help you or the witness to move forward with any misunderstandings. This is why preparation is so important. It will help your witness understand and adjust to the bizarre language and rhythm of the witness environment.
3) Prepare for Questions About Preparation - Many questioners will ask a witness about preparation. That's ok. They're hoping to catch the witness by surprise and make them feel bad for preparing. Don't let your witness fall for it.
4) Explain the Privilege Issues - Privilege issues can get confusing even for lawyers. Don't assume that your witness understands when information is privileged or not.
Helping your witness understand these four crucial parts can be the difference between a witness who cracks under pressure and a witness who takes the time to deliver thoughtful and honest answers in the courtroom.