Testifying in Court

  1. I'm a witness for a family civil case and will be testifying mid next week. I'm pretty nervous and, well actually, pretty scared. Anyone with this experience have any advice? I'm scared about the cross examination by the other lawyer...he's a slimeball.

    Thanks in advance...:flowers:
     
  2. My advice is just to relax and dress neatly and in a proper manner. I've heard a lot of judgement is placed on what you wear in court.
     
  3. Oh I should also mention that I'm pretty much the key witness. :sad:
     
  4. Oh, good luck! Try to relax, and be calm. If you look very nervous they might think you might be hiding something! I agree with purselova. dress in a proper manner! Judges, and everyone else judge you.
     
  5. Never testified but have been on juries. Everyone knows you are nervous. Just take a deep breath before responding to any question. Take your time answering. Don't let the lawyers intimidate you. They will try. If the slimeball tries to get to you, just smile at him and take your time answering.
     
  6. Tell the truth and don't get emotional. It may be that the other side has information they are looking to incriminate you with. Stick to the FACTS only and stay away from opinions. I work in court regularly and the biggest peice of advice is to NEVER lie or try to cover up unpleasant facts for someone else. It always comes back to bite you and you can be slapped with a contempt and/perjury charge if that happens.
     
  7. All great advice, especially take a deep breath and take you time before answering. Especially the 'slimeball'....allows you to think and be calm and clear....and....allows opposing counsel to object, if needed.
     
  8. Thanks everyone...it has been a very emotional time for me with so much on the line for my mother. Thanks again.
     
  9. My one "claim to fame" as far as what I do for a living is being an "expert witness" in trials/depositions. Having said that, I've been in your shoes plenty of times (too plenty for my taste, but the pay is good!). As Twinkle.tink said, take your time before you answer questions. The best way to stay out of trouble is to keep your answers to "yes" and "no" when at all possible. We all have a tendency to want to elaborate when we are in the witness chair, but all that does is give the "slimeball" more information. If you get asked a question, don't feel pressured to blurt out something just because of all the eyes on you. Stop and think exactly how to answer the question and nothing more. If you need to think about it for 5 seconds or 30 seconds, doesn't matter. It's far better to think out your answer (and irritate the "slimeball" by making HIM wait) than find yourself thinking later "I should have said [whatever] when he asked me that!"

    I guess I'm a masochist (or closet sadist) because I actually enjoyed testifying, especially when I could lay a zinger or two on the opposing attorney/attorneys and get a laugh out of the jury at the same time. :devil:
     
  10. only answer the question you are ask and to the point, dont offer any info that you arent asked for.
     
  11. good luck and just try to stay calm and remind yourself that you have to do this, and that you just have to be honest and believable and not allow the other attorney to rattle you
     
  12. Thanks for all the great advice. I'll keep that in mind as I testify next week. Now if I could only get my mom to stay calm...that's a whole other issue!
     
  13. ^^^Let her read this thread. Might help! ;)
     
  14. Take your time before answering! Take a deep breath and think about the question.
     
  15. Just take deep breaths, relax, and be yourself. :smile: You aren't the only one who gets nervous...even professionals (my hubby for one) get nervous. Especially with slimy lawyers.

    Don't let him/her intimidate your or try to force you to answer quickly or in more detail if you don't want to.

    Just be honest and you'll be good! =D