Witness Preparation Best Practices

Lessons Learned for Avoiding Catastrophic Failures

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Unexpected testimony can be catastrophic in litigation. Bad depositions can make small cases large. Bad trial testimony can lead to inequitable (i.e. nuclear) settlements, nuclear verdict awards, and at times, damaging headlines. Any psychological stress from simple worry to actual panic is capable of reducing the witness’ ability to focus, listen, and think clearly. Stress has both a cognitive and physiological impact and thus negatively affects both verbal and nonverbal behavior; a point which is critical since witness demeanor impacts credibility as much or more than does response content.

In this article understand:

  • Why do good witnesses go bad?
  • How to avoid catastrophic testimony
  • The difference between witness preparation and training
  • Best practices for witness testimony preparation

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