Witness in the Court: Knowing What to Expect

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Lawyer Lawsuit 2If you are about to take the stand as a witness, you must realize how much your words will matter to the others involved in the case. What you say before the attorneys, in front of the judge, or while on the stand can make a big difference in how the case turns out.

The main parties of the case likely have a lot of time, money, and emotion wrapped up in the lawsuit, so they will hang on your every word. If you must go before the jury, be prepared.

Just as they value your testimony, the plaintiff and defendant realize that what you say could greatly impact the judge or jury’s decision. Therefore, they are not likely to be easy with the questioning. Because your testimony likely favors one side over the other, the opposing attorney may try to make you appear an untrustworthy witness.

For this reason, it is a very good idea to practice the act of giving testimony before going to the stand. Know what could be asked of you, how it may impact your emotional state, and what you can do to maintain your composure.

Remember that, although harsh questions may be directed at you, this case is not likely to have a bearing on your day-to-day life afterward. However, it can greatly impact the others involved.

  • Attempt to be as honest and as straightforward as possible.
  • Appear in court as a professional by choosing a wardrobe that suggests that you are. Speak clearly, concisely, and at a volume that can be heard by all of importance in the case.
  • While it may not always be possible to answer a question with absolute certainty, it is better to be honest about this, admitting that you “don’t remember” or “don’t recall the details” rather than lying.
  • If you must provide an approximation, be sure that you alert the judge and jury to the fact that you are only making an educated guess.