If you want to make sure your witness is totally prepared for the intense court setting, there are certain things that you should definitely do – and other things that you should not – when it comes to being in the courtroom. Preparing your witness ahead of time can be the difference-maker between winning and losing a case – so taking time out of your busy court prep schedule to make sure your witness is on the same page as you. Since they are essential to forming your argument and fighting your case, witness coaching is key to winning your client’s legal battle. Let’s see the main do’s and don’ts of witness coaching – after all, this can be the difference between your client getting off scot-free or going to jail!
The 3 do’s and don’ts of witness coaching
If you are in charge of preparing a witness for court, you need to make sure they are fully versed in the courtroom ideology, the jargon, and what to expect when they step foot in the intense setting. Are they prepared for the questions, or do they need some more practice? Make sure you take witness preparation and witness coaching seriously if you are the one in charge of getting the witnesses lined up and ready for court!
Don’t: encourage lying
One of the main don’ts of witness coaching is encouraging the witness to lie on the stand to make your case seem better. Not only does this go against the word of God when they place their hand on the Bible at the beginning of the testimony, but it can lead to a cover-up that will end up hurting the case in the long run.
Don’t: bait the witness
If you are in charge of getting the witness ready for trial, don’t intentionally – or intentionally -feed the witness information that can lead them to say what you want them to say in court. Presenting evidence and giving them facts of a case that they should not know can sway their influence.
Don’t: encourage misconduct or unlawful acts
If you are trying to make your client win, you might think it could be helpful to have your witness engage in some type of illegal behavior to intimidate other witnesses, gather evidence, or lie on the stand; however, it is unethical and unlawful to encourage a witness to act fraudulently.
Do: support your witness
One must-do when you are witness coaching is to provide support to your client. Make sure you give your witnesses support, advice, guidance, and encouragement during all steps of the trial process.
Do: clarify the process
The second thing that you should do when it comes to witness coaching is provide clarification so they can avoid being confused during the entire process. Make sure you discuss the questioning works, how the opposite side may question them, and what they can expect.
Do: encourage honesty at all times
The last thing you must do as an attorney is to ensure your witness tells the truth at all points of the questioning process.
If you’re in charge of witness coaching during a court case, make sure you follow these 3 do’s and don’ts when it comes to preparing for trial!