Friday, February 15, 2008

Going to Court - Testifying

I generally tell my witnesses do not volunteer, do not blurt, but Virginia Family Law Blog has 5 things to consider before you talk to the judge that I think covers the same ground quite nicely.

I would add a few points:

  1. Judges like order because the innate sense that a hearing is something other than a brawl, judges have more cases on their calendar and disorder leads to those other cases getting backed up.
  2. Making comments from counsel table while the other party testifies does not impress the judge with anything other than your rudeness and discredits you.
  3. I agree with not making any fashion statements. Piercings and tattoos may look good at the club the night before, but not in court. Which brings me my fourth point.
  4. At a hearing, we are all on trial. The judge notices behavior and reactions even while you just sit next to your attorney. That someone lies on the stand surprises only the non-lawyers. There are ways of dealing with this that work much better than denouncing them while they testify (see #2).
A bit of an update: Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer Blog has a similar and somewhat overlapping list in its post Rhode Island Divorce Tips for Court Appearances!.

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