Episode #94 - Critical Steps for Trial Preparation

Bill Kanasky, Jr., Ph.D.

In this episode, Dr. Bill Kanasky, Jr. reviews the critical steps that need to be taken when preparing for trial. Bill shares a trial preparation to-do list which includes: - Making a schedule and plan - Setting up witness preparation sessions, either for the first time or refresher sessions if the trial was delayed due to Covid. Witness training (not just telling) must focus on the keys to delivering strong testimony and training on the 3 biggest mistakes made by defense witnesses during rehabilitation or direct examination: sharing too much information, volunteering information, and going too fast - Determining what the courtroom setup will be as many courtrooms are now set up differently due to Covid - Voir dire and jury selection questions and plan, including the filing of a motion to use a supplemental juror questionnaire to identify sensitive topics, particularly related to, or exacerbated, by the pandemic. Bill goes through a number of sensitive topics that are crucial to address during jury selection such as mental health issues, mask mandates, financial issues, vaccinations, etc. - Opening statement development strategy and approach, including presenting a research-supported alternative damages figure - Closing arguments by summarizing key arguments and repeating the alternative damages number from voir dire and opening statements