How to be an Effective Witness –Three Tips for Success in Front of a Jury

Testifying in court can be a stressful event, but an experience injury lawyer can prepare you to be successful in front of a jury. To begin with, here are three very simple tips that will assist you when providing your testimony:

1. Answer the question that was asked. Some attorneys will deliberately try to trick you into answering a question that is different that what you think you are answering. For example, an attorney might ask two questions in the same sentence so that if you only respond to one part, you may be giving an answer to the first part that you did not intend.

Another example is that sometimes an attorney will ask a question in the negative, such as “Did you not say…” and if you are not paying close attention to the question, then you may give an answer that is the opposite of what you mean. If you do not understand a question, ask the attorney to clarify. If you try to answer a question without truly understanding it and flounder about for the correct answer, you will not appear credible.

Moreover, be particularly careful in responding to a question that begins, “Wouldn’t you agree that…?” Don’t let the attorney put words in your mouth! An experienced injury lawyer can help you prepare for the questions that will be asked and warn you of potential hazards to avoid.

2. Only answer the question. Then stop speaking. Answer only the question asked and do not volunteer additional information. First of all, if you volunteer more information than is necessary, you may inadvertently say something damaging to your case that provides ammunition for the other side. Secondly, the jury does not need or want to hear extra information. They only need to know the answer to the specific question.

3. Be confident. Convincing a jury to believe you not only depends on what you say but how you say it. You will be more believable if you speak confidently and clearly. If you are soft-spoken or lethargic, you may come across to the jury as though you are unsure about your testimony. If you don’t have confidence in what you are saying, why should a jury? When you are speaking in court, your credibility depends to a large extent on how you present the information.

Remembering these three tips will put you well on your way to effectively presenting your testimony in court. However, keep in mind that this is not an all-inclusive list. If you have further questions about testifying in court or have a personal injury claim you’d like to pursue, your injury lawyer David P. Kashani can answer your questions. Call (323) 782-9605 for a free case evaluation.