Some thoughts about court...

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by BenP, Jul 3, 2002.

  1. BenP

    BenP Guest

    If any of you have had the wonderful pleasure of getting to go to court as a witness, here's a few things I've found helpful.

    When providing testimony of any sort (deposition, interrogatives, examination, cross examiniation), do not volunteer any information. Answer questions as briefly as possible. If the attorney does not find your answer complete enough, he will ask another question. If he doesn't ask about it, don't elaborate. Don't bring up details that aren't supported with evidence.

    Write every question down. Study it. Break it up into its parts, ask to have it repeated. Write your answer before you speak. Make sure it says exactly what you want it to say. This may seem at first to be excessive, but you will want a record of what was asked and what you said later, if for no other reason than to be able to get to sleep that night without going through the whole thing again in your head.

    Always, always remember that no attorney is on your side unless you're paying his bill, and even then it's questionable. No matter how nice they ask or how concerned they seem for your welfare, trust that they will look for every opportunity to discredit you and/or make you the guilty party if it is in their client's interest to do so. Do not act hostile, you will lose. Just always keep in mind what you're there for, and always remember to keep your interests ahead of anyone else's.

    If you don't know the answer or are not sure, say so. Don't make any absolute statements, but qualify everything you say (eg "As I recall" or "I think it might have been"). If pressed for details, direct them to any evidence in the record that might contain the facts. If there is no evidence to support your statements, then you will be uncomfortably grilled. Do not argue with an attorney during testimony. State the facts as you know them, refer to the evidence whenever possible, and if you are challenged, do not take it personally. If you don't understand something and the attorney is not making it clear, tell the judge. Don't try to reword the attorney's questions for him.

    Take as much time as you need to answer any questions. Do not open your mouth to say anything until you are fully prepared. This is not a timed event. I've taken two hours to answer a question and the only people who got upset were the people paying the attorney's bills. If you need to think about it, tell the attorney "Let me think about this...". He will wait for you. You will only get one chance to tell your story in court, so don't compromise.

    If you argue with a judge after he's told you to be quiet, you will spend a night in jail and/or pay a fine before you leave court. This happens more often than you would think. Attorneys are always paying court fines.
  2. I'm not going to say much, lol.

    I'm trying to hide.

    But, try being an expert witness and find out if it's a walk in the park. It's OK if the prosecuting Attorney is sharp enough (I don't voluntarily testify as an expert witness for the defense...nope....and I HAVE been supoened by the defense as an expert witness).

    Most Judges won't over rule objections by the defense when an expert witness is on the stand testifying so it's like dancing around the coals without getting burned.

    But, there is much more to testifying than meets the eyes.

    I once received a supoena on the lake, delivered by Maricopa County Sheriff's Department (I was upset that my better half snitched me out, lol). When I got to court in my sweats I got chastized for my dress. I looked at the Judge and asked if taking the time of driving home, FINDING something appropriate to wear, getting something to eat, etc. was more important than timely appearance and he shut up, lol.

    But, your points are well taken. Most people ruin their own testimony by volunteering or speculating, etc. But if the Attorney is sharp and paying attention she/he wouldn't let you get that far.

  3. wes

    wes Guest

    My three answers: "I was only following orders","I don't remember that","I was looking the other way when it happened". Works for me! When someone asks me questions,I get REAL stupid,REAL fast.
  4. BenP

    BenP Guest

    I dunno if you want to come across as stupid or ignorant in court, that whole ignorance of the law is no excuse thing can jump up and bite you in the backside if you're not careful. Best thing is to say what you know when asked to, don't speculate about nothing, don't lie, and don't get angry. The Seargent Shultz routine is pretty transparent in a courtroom, and judges are not very tolerant about that kind of act. If they suspect you are suffering from voluntary memory loss, they have ways of motivating you to speak what you know, and they won't be too pleasant about it.
  5. Klaus

    Klaus Guest

    Then how do you explain Hillary Clinton's courtroom antics?
  6. Shaun

    Shaun G&G Evangelist

    My courtroom testimony experiences have been simple I met with the D.A. 30 minutes before the trial we discussed exactly what they were going to ask and how the defense would work against me. The answers were short and simple and stuck with the report -- Simple Rule that judges look at "If it isn't writtenit did not happen!" Of course when we got done talking I would go have coffe with the judge and discuss a hunting trip or a toy purchase most were hunters and loved to BS
  7. Rave

    Rave G&G Evangelist

    Klaus,Hillery is one of the elite,and as such,the rules do not apply to her.The same applies to her pig.:nod: :nod: :rolleyes:
  8. Eric

    Eric Guest

    It's called our 'DAM' policy. Deny everything, Admit nothing, and Make counter-accusations.