questions at trial

What kinds of questions will they ask me at trial?

May 28, 2022 4:28 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Honesty is essential while answering questions during trial. A witness must be trustworthy. Give concise answers and be confident in your answers. Keep in mind that you are not there to dispute. That is the lawyer’s responsibility.

It is impossible to “win” at trial. The opposing lawyer has prepared his trial questions for hours. According to several estimates, a lawyer will spend an hour preparing for every ten minutes of trial. Trial can only be “won” by enduring it.

Keep in mind that trial is only one aspect of the case. The purpose of trial for a witness is not to lose too much information. After the trial, your lawyer will have the opportunity to redirect your testimony.

The greatest method to succeed in trial is to avoid any kind of debate. Simply listen to the question and respond in the fewest feasible words. The less information you offer the opposing counsel to deal with, the less cross-examination they can conduct.

Here are some pointers:

  • They can ask you questions at the start like Who, What, Where, When, How, and Why Could you kindly describe?
  • They can also begin by inquiring about your background. (Can you tell me your name? How did you become acquainted with the parties and so on.)

They can pose specific inquiries. 

  • Where were you at 10 a.m. that day?
  • Please include your full name for the record.
  • How did you become acquainted with the claimant/respondent?
  • Do you have a job?
  • Pose difficult or perplexing questions.
  • What happened? Make your request as specific as possible.
  • What were the incident or behavior’s date, time, and duration?
  • How many times have you witnessed anything that you are aware of? 
  • Where did it take place?
  • What caused that to happen?
  • Did anyone else witness it? Who? What did they say or do in response?
  • Was there physical contact? Describe it. Demonstrate it.
  • What did you do in response to the incident or behavior?

Trial Techniques for Success

If you’re summoned to testify in a criminal trial, there are certain things to remember.

Listen Carefully To The Prosecutor’s Question And Wait For Him To Finish Before Responding.

When you respond, only respond to the question that has been asked. If the attorney asks if you drank alcohol on the night in issue, simply answer “yes.” Don’t mention how many beers you had. If the lawyer asks, “Is it true that you had six beers that night?” when you only had three, simply respond, “No.” During trial, only provide information if the attorney requests it.

When At All Feasible, Provide Positive, Definitive Responses.

If you can be positive, avoid stating “I believe,” “I think,” or “in my view.” Say so if you don’t know or can’t remember. Don’t guess or invent something. You can be optimistic about important events that you would naturally recall. If you’re unsure about the answer to a question about little things that a person would normally forget, it’s best to say “I can’t remember”.

Consider Your Response Before Giving An Explanation.

Don’t answer a question too quickly. Before answering the question, take a deep breath and think about what you will say.

Don’t Make A Guess.

If you don’t know the answer or don’t understand the question, notify the lawyer and respectfully ask him to rephrase it.

Don’t State Anything Like “That’s The End Of The Conversation” Or “Nothing Else Happened” Unless You’re Positive.

Instead, say, “That’s all I remember happening,” or “That’s all I recall.” You might remember something crucial after some additional contemplation or a different query.

An attorney may occasionally ask, “Have you talked to anyone about this case?” 

Because an attorney normally tries to talk to a witness before they take the stand, and many witnesses have previously spoken to one or more police officers, counselors, or social workers about the case, depending on the issues, the judge or jury will know if you say “no.” Before testifying in a criminal trial, you should consult with an attorney, the prosecutor, the police, or others, and you should, of course, answer truthfully to this question. Say out loud that you spoke with whomever you spoke with – the attorney, the victim, other witnesses, relatives, or anyone else. All you need to do is, to tell the truth as clearly as you can. 

If you’re in need of legal counsel as you face a lawsuit or potential trial, contact our Concord, New Hampshire legal team.

 

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This post was written by Cohen and Winters

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