A Winning Tip

A Winning Tip is jointly written by Dr. Noelle Nelson and Diane Rumbaugh. Dr. Nelson is a clinical psychologist, author, and consultant. Ms. Rumbaugh is a PR consultant and author. Together they provide helpful advice on trial proceedings.

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  In our ongoing effort to maximize the effectiveness of a Zoom deposition, here are 2 more tips for your witnesses. 1. Be Your Own Cinematographer Zoom depositions are visual statements as well as verbal ones, but instead of having a competent videographer assisting to make sure everything looks right, you, the witness, must do that yourself. So make sure that what’s behind you when you sit in front of your computer, laptop or tablet…
  Your client is a rational, mature businessperson. You expect them to do well at their upcoming deposition. After all, they have plenty of real-world experience, and of course, you go over the facts of the case with them as well as some deposition basics. You are subsequently horrified when they waffle, or get angry, or are evasive, or volunteer or do any of the multitude of the other communication sins that constitute poor testimony.…
During these unusual times, most jury trials are out of the question, but depositions are still being taken, and witnesses therefore still need help to testify at their best. One of the keys to a successful deposition is a witness’ attitude. Help your witness by offering the following suggestions:  1. Tell the truth No matter how painful, scary, or awkward it may be, tell the truth. Your attorney can deal with anything, as long as…
You’re gearing up for trial, you hardly have the time or patience to deal with an angry witness. Yet there you are, in the unenviable position of having to prepare a witness who is angry for any number of reasons: – The witness is a client, angry that this matter couldn’t be settled or that it even is in litigation at all. – The witness is furious at being “required” to testify. – The witness…
Clients dislike surprises, especially unpleasant ones. This holds true for small surprises, such as finding out at the last minute that a meeting was rescheduled, and for large surprises, such as finding out that the worst possible jury has just been impaneled for their trial. Every case has its “surprises” – aka problems; some can be anticipated, others cannot. In your eagerness to maintain credibility and be an effective problem-solver for your clients, you may…