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- Explain the theory of the case and where the witness fits in.
- Have witness read previous statements.
- Is anything misleading? Errors? Do you remember differently now?
- Explain impeachment, rehabilitation, refreshing recollection, past recollection recorded.
- Revisit scene, if necessary.
- Have the physical evidence in the interview.
- If sealed containers, have DC send a representative if necessary.
- It is okay to talk to the other lawyer. Tell the truth.
- Wear all badges and decorations.
- When outside the courtroom, be serious and polite. Don’t discuss the case. Don’t speak to other court members.
- How to take the stand.
- Taking the oath, be serious but pleasant.
- Look at the person asking the question.
- Be silent and wait if anyone objects or interrupts.
- Opening questions will be basic stuff. Relax, panel can size you up.
- Listen carefully to all questions.
- If you don’t understand, say so and ask for clarification.
- Talk in paragraphs.
- Don’t memorize – testify from memory.
- Explain what you saw, rather than drawing conclusions (he was red, slammed fist into wall rather than he was angry)
- Don’t volunteer information.
- If an estimate, say so. Time and distance is often off.
- Don’t exaggerate or make overly broad generalizations.
- If an answer is incorrect or incomplete, correct immediately.
- You are not on trial – won’t expose every bad thing you have done.
- Tell the truth.
- Be firm but polite. Be confident. Just explain what you know.
- No sarcasm.
- Don’t try to outwit the other attorney.
- Don’t be bullied into a yes or no answer if the question can’t be answered by yes or no.
- If you need to explain, explain, but don’t volunteer information.
- Don’t be afraid of silence. Wait for the next question.
- Correct any mistakes immediately.
- If you don’t know, say so. There is nothing wrong with not knowing.
- I can conduct redirect. This isn’t your only chance.
- Don’t look at me if you get in trouble. Look at the judge.
- Is there anything else I should know?
- I’m only interested in the truth.