WITNESS PREPARATION AND MORE FOR ALL OCCASIONS
Although witness preparation is an integral part of any trial preparation or deposition preparation, the overall importance and value of it is often overlooked. While testifying experts have the knowledge and experience in their industry, and speak easily of it in conversation, answering questions in a deposition, let alone on the witness stand, is a very different experience. It can be a very nerve-wracking environment, and often time becomes filled with anxiety and pressure. Without practice, guidance and a plan, this easily can become a troubling situation for your case.
In addition to trial and depositions, Jack has also prepared corporate executives and other for interviews with the media and other non-trial testimony, such as appearing before agencies and boards.
Witnesses are such an integral part of any case. Be sure to make them ready, comfortable and educated before putting them in a situation that could go array. The opportunity for mistakes in our media-driven world are many, so professional preparation is key and often overlooked.
WITNESS PREPARATION OUTSIDE OF A TRIAL OR DEPOSITION
When someone is called upon as a witness in a legal matter, it may not be a trial or deposition, but could be for a regulatory case before a state or federal agency, an interview by a police officer or FBI, or even testifying in front of a local board like a school or a land use board.
Or worse case – your client has a microphone put in front of them from the media, who ask questions on the spot, while videotaping your client outside company headquarters or in front of their home.
Communicating effectively in a Question & Answer format is an extraordinarily unnatural and difficult process. A witness must learn a new and strange language in a discipline that is very different than anything that we use in our everyday lives.
At Jack Hall, PC, we believe this topic (Witness Preparation) should be the subject of a law school course, seminar course, taught in law firms and serve as part of our CLE because lawyers of all types, not just trial lawyers, are called upon to represent a client as a witness in an unlimited number of environments.
The truth of the matter is, most lawyers have not prepared themselves for these types of encounters. Jack strongly believes that this is a separate skillset and experience set for the bar, which has been long overlooked and not adequately identified.
The important point is that these types of encounters “are not a conversation.” Once you say something as an executive for instance, you own it forever, especially if it is videotaped or recorded.
Jack Hall provides specialized experience in preparing people to testify in many different venues. It is especially critical for your executives who are called upon regularly to speak in public.
Professional preparation is the key.
Jack Hall is an avid presenter and lecturer on the topic of Witness Preparation. For more information regarding his recent seminar with the Allegheny County Bar Association, click here.