Witness Preparation Posts

  • Giving Your Witness a Leg Up Before Stepping Into the Courtroom

    Originally pushed in the King County Bar Association Bar Bulletin, March 2017. Have you ever walked away from a meeting with a witness thinking, “She’s going to do just fine,” only to be dismayed when the person testifying is not …

  • The Less Than Perfect Client

    The Radiolab spinoff podcast More Perfect recently aired an episode titled The Imperfect Plaintiffs, detailing the case of Lawrence v. Texas, a landmark Supreme Court case that evaluated the constitutionality of anti-sodomy laws. (If you haven’t heard of More Perfect, …

  • Two Communication Lessons from the First Presidential Debate 2016

    The 2016 election year is the most partisan in recent history. It seems that many voters are so entrenched that some have wondered if one of the most classic forums of democracy, the political debate, might be rendered moot. After …

  • Telling the Truth Well and Witness Preparation: Controlling False “Confessions” and Misperceived Deception Cues

    We are in a “Golden Age” of television, so feel free to sit back and enjoy the quality of characters and stories offered. But it is not all just entertainment. Recently, I was watching HBO’s new limited series The Night …

  • What Three Things Should We Remember About That Ugly Yellow Shirt? Two Simple Techniques for Preparing Your Witness to Testify.

    I have several “silly little tricks” that find their way into my witness preparation sessions. For example, when a witness answers outside the scope of the question, I simplify the solution with the example, “Do you know what time it …

  • Helping Witnesses Overcome Stage Fright

    It’s a fairly well-known statistic that public speaking ranks as the #1 most common fear among Americans, finishing just above heights, bugs, and snakes.  Thus, it’s not surprising that many witnesses are fearful of giving testimony in a deposition or …

  • New Research on Recording Video Depositions Answers Old Questions

    Over the years we have heard and had many strong opinions on what approach deponents should take when being video recorded, which was not much of a concern just a few decades ago. However, as deposition transcripts have been increasingly …

  • Who's Your Marcus?

    Like every state, Oregon is divided in a number of ways: there are the urbanites vs. suburbanites, red counties vs. blue counties, vegans vs. vegetarians vs. carnivores, and finally there are Ducks and Beavers. Right now, as these disparate Oregonians …

  • Tips For Preparing The "Beast Mode" Witness

    Fans of the National Football League are undoubtedly familiar with “Beast Mode,” the nickname given to Marshawn Lynch to describe his uncompromising running style where he plows through multiple tacklers as if they were small children.  The most famous “Beast Mode” run …

  • Stage Fright in Trial - A Common Fear

    A recent study in Clinical Psychological Science on handling stressful situations reminded me of one of the most difficult challenges I faced as a communications professor – preparing students with stage fright to give a speech in front of the …

  • The Upside and Downside of Beauty

    October 6th, 2011 Here at Tsongas we often get asked questions regarding appearance. One of the subjects that has come up recently involves beauty and specifically what effect it has regarding witness evaluation by the fact finder. To get to …

  • Your Witness--Prepare Before Stepping Into the Sun

    King County Bar Bulletin, July 2004 Theodore O. Prosise, Ph.D. shares four principles that help you and your witness testify more credibly. Read the Full Article Here: http://tsongasit.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Your-Witness-0704.pdf

  • Strategy, Planning Lead to Success

    King County Bar Bulletin, October 2005 Ted Prosise, Ph.D. discusses methods for getting an advantage in litigation. Specifically they discuss: Using a Courtroom Setting; Increasing Witness Comfort; Developing the Case Story Early; and Working with Consultants. Read the Full Article …

  • Common Defense Errors

    Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, Winter 2006 Chris Dominic highlights some strategic errors that are commonly made and can be avoided. Some of the errors highlighted are: –Choosing the technical case over the persuasive narrative; –Using arguments your social group …

  • Anatomy of a Medical Malpractice Verdict

    Montana Law Review, Winter 2009, v. 70, no. 1 Tom O’Toole, Bruce Boyd, and Ted Prosise explore, “Three key theories of juror decision-making and courtroom communication” in their article, “Anatomy of a Medical Malpractice Verdict.” The three theories explored include: …

  • Gender Differences in the Courtroom: Understanding and Capitalizaing on Factors that Impact Credibility

    Sue, Apr/May 2009 Laura Dominic and Jill Schmid, Ph.D. discuss gender differences in the courtroom by exploring: –The masculine/feminine communication continuum –Nature versus nurture: The socialization of boys and girls –The impact of gender on decision making – stereotypes and …

  • The Non-Testifying Expert in the Courtroom

    King County Bar Bulletin, September 2009 Jill Schmid and Tom O’Toole describe the many attitudes and experiences of jurors on employment cases. The authors discuss implications on the presentation of the case and jury selection. Read the Full Article Here: http://tsongasit.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/The-Non-Testifying-Expert-in-the-Courtroom-article.pdf

  • Planning for Success: Three Ways to Better Manage Your Cases

    King County Bar Bulletin, October 2009 Tom O’Toole and Jill Schmid share three ways to better manage cases: 1) Use Your Narrative Framework to Guide Discovery; 2) Prepare Key Witnesses for Depositions, and; 3) Plan Ahead for Jury Selection. Read …

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