witness

Things to Remember on Being a Witness


Every witness must follow sensible rules to protect one’s self from anything that might transpire during the investigation of a case or even when it’s on trial. In that sense, there are two parts of the things that you should remember. First, it pertains to the things that you should do. The second one is all about the things that you should not do as a witness. Let’s tackle it one by one.

The Things That You Should Do

Be serious in taking a subpoena. It is an order that comes from a court of justice. You can’t take it lightly. Even though the judge has no interest in you and it is a lawyer who undertakes it, the judge will be annoyed if you neglect a subpoena.

Provide an honest testimony. Intellectual honesty and answering the questions fairly help you fulfill your task well. Don’t forget that perjury is a felony.

Be forthcoming and honest with your attorney. No matter what the situation is, you should inform your attorney of anything you know.

Give your time in helping the lawyer prepare to handle the case. It involves discussions about the case, working on discovery, preparing for depositions and the trial.

Follow the advice of the lawyer about the way you handle yourself in the courtroom during trial. Don’t be afraid to ask questions relating to the case and the trial.

Wear comfortable clothes. The credibility of a witness is primarily judge through your clothes. Don’t be a lousy witness.

Give the lawyer everything you have in your relevant files. It includes essential documents that may be useful in handling the case.

The Things That You Should Not Do

Don’t ever guess about anything. It will make you look stupid. The correct way to answer a question that you’re not aware of is “I don’t know.”

Don’t help the opponent understand the events you’ve mentioned. Your job is to answer the questions aimed at you pertaining to the case.

Don’t be funny in the courtroom. They will record your statements so be serious. Not all people have a sense of humor. Just be direct and true.

Avoid distractions. Be focused in answering the questions so that you will not misunderstand anything.

Don’t try to answer a query that you don’t understand. Request to rephrase the question if it appears vague.

You can request a break during deposition. Be sure to take it.

However, don’t ask for a break during trial. It is the prerogative of the judge to provide break time in the courtroom during trial.

Don’t take drugs or alcohol before you give your testimony. Don’t skip breakfast in attending the trial.

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Revised: April 26, 2018, 8:48 p.m.
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