Instruction on effective testimony techniques, mock examinations, and video feedback to maximize persuasiveness.

Witnesses are often anxious, combative, too elaborate, timid, or generally ineffective as communicators. These difficulties are often rooted in chronic or acute psychological problems. The stress of testifying can exacerbate these problems. Jurors can misinterpret inappropriate paralinguistic and nonverbal cues that reflect these underlying problems.

We evaluate and profile witnesses to uncover the roots of communication difficulties, and rehabilitate communication styles for deposition and trial. Our Witness Workshops are tailored for each witness to optimize their persuasiveness and effectiveness as part of the overall trial strategy. Witness Workshops are especially effective for witnesses who feel anxious, angry, indignant, inadequate, or guilty and who manifest these feelings with arrogance, combativeness, control, over-elaboration, timidity, or stammering.


Witness Workshops typically involve one to three sessions, lasting between two to four hours each.
A Witness Workshop offers the witness some guidelines about the objectives we are trying to achieve, the tricks and traps they need to know, and specific strategies for offering effective, persuasive testimony. We then get a baseline of the witness’s communication style by videotaping a brief direct examination and a more extensive cross-examination. A trial consultant analyzes this tape and develops a communication profile and strategy plan for the witness.

Feedback is then offered along with a presentation of selected videotape segments from the baseline exercise. Videotape illustrates specific strengths and weaknesses of the witness and the strategy plan is presented. Stress management and relaxation exercises may be part of this session if anxiety, distress or unfamiliarity with testifying is an issue.

Additional cross-examination sessions are then conducted where immediate corrective feedback is provided and strategic recommendations are internalized.




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