How to Prepare a Witness for Trial

March 29, 2012 — 1,829 views  
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Before ever stepping into a court room, counsel must actively prepare a witness to testify at trial. According to the National Law Journal, this entails identifying what the witness knows about the issues in the case and then educating them regarding how to testify persuasively to a jury.

Here are three steps recommended for preparing a witness for a trial:

1. Listen to the witness. Start the process by listening to the person's testimony. Then, once they have finished, start firing away a variety of questions in order to gain an accurate gauge of how they deal with the grueling interview process.

2. Make recommendations. Upon reviewing the witness testimony, make suggestions on their appearance, how they positioned their body on the stand, how they sound and even their facial expressions. Juries believe witnesses that they can relate to. However, try to limit critiques to a few simple changes in the beginning so as not to overwhelm the witness.

3. Craft a witness binder. Building a witness binder to include the deposition transcripts, contact information, character and other pertinent details can help counsel develop a strategy for the trial.