Four Critical Tips for Taking Your First Witness at Trial
Mass Torts, Volume 8, Number 3, Spring 2010
2 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2012 Last revised: 23 Jul 2012
Date Written: March 20, 2010
Opportunities to take a witness at trial can be few and far between for an attorney who is just starting out practicing law or who is new to litigation. Over 90 percent of all cases settle, and clients often demand that more senior attorneys try their cases. As a result, junior attorneys may find that opportunities to examine a witness at trial do not come as soon or as often as they want. In this competitive environment, a junior attorney must seek out the trial opportunities, make the senior attorneys on their cases aware of their desire to take a witness, and be prepared to do an excellent job when the opportunity arises. This article provides four crucial tips for a junior attorney who is examining his or her first witness at trial, which include knowing the applicable procedural and evidentiary rules, focusing on the fundamentals of direct examinations and cross examinations, staying organized, and remaining mindful of the trier of fact.
Keywords: witnesses, trial practice, cross examination, direct examination, junior attorney
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