Episode #186 - Building Rapport Early With Your Witnesses

Guest: Brenda Smith, Attorney - Dvorak Law Firm

Brenda Smith, Attorney with Dvorak Law Group, joins Bill Kanasky, Jr. Ph.D. to discuss the importance of conducting an early, thorough assessment of witnesses before beginning deposition prep and to make a connection with witnesses before even starting prep. This early assessment allows the litigation team to address any issues in advance of deposition prep so the preparation can be more impactful and deliver positive outcomes. 

Brenda and Bill talk about working with witnesses who may be suffering from emotional issues and/or physical injuries from the accident. Brenda shares her approach for witness preparation, including starting the preparation very early, and checking in regularly with the witness to build rapport and see how they are doing with any physical or emotional  issues they may be dealing with. Brenda and Bill discuss how these check-ins are critical to building a connection with the witness, allowing them an opportunity to vent, and continually reassuring the witness that the litigation team is there to help and will be with them throughout the litigation process. 

Brenda and Bill give specifics on a recent case they worked on with an emotional and injured driver. The driver was being triggered by the video evidence and was having difficulty with acknowledging his culpability in the accident after viewing the video. They also talk about how important the support of the trucking company was in helping the driver in this difficult situation and how the owner of the trucking company even met with the driver face-to-face to express the company's support and assistance for the driver.