This coming Thursday, I’ll give a talk about Preparing Difficult Witnesses for Trial at the University of Texas law school Civil Litigation Conference in Austin. My series of posts on the subject ends with this one — and it’s the best one of them all, in my view.
Continue Reading Preparing difficult witnesses for trial: Hardest questions, dry runs, keeping a safe distance, and conclusion

In Preparing Difficult Witnesses for Trial — Part 1, we looked at the four major types of trial witnesses. We also sketched “some of the more significant ethical considerations that govern your dealings with each category”. We then took “a short and non-exhaustive look at the two major privileges that trial lawyers deal with: the lawyer-client privilege and the lawyer work-product doctrine.”

In this post, we’ll cover the necessity for getting really ready and something you may find surprising — the importance of caring.
Continue Reading Preparing Difficult Witnesses for Trial — Part 2

For your client to win at trial, the trial lawyer in you must tell a human story, one that moves jurors to decide in your client’s favor. Flesh-and-blood witnesses fill essential roles in the drama. So-so ones will turn the story to mush, and bad ones will allow your friend on the other side to beat you and your client about the head and neck with it. Difficult witnesses – DWs – therefore pose a risk you must use all your talents and powers to manage.

How can you prepare DWs for their potentially pivotal turn on the courtroom stage? In this series of posts, I offer thoughts from 33 years of trying cases.
Continue Reading Preparing Difficult Witnesses for Trial — Part 1

The American jury makes a profound contribution to the very structure and fabric of American law, Ciulla v. Rigny, 89 F. Supp. 2d 97, 98 (D. Mass. 2000), and so it is here. Indeed, this particular case would be of little interest to anyone other than the litigants were it not for the remarkable

InvestOn the first day of a recent patent infringement trial, the wise judge asked Blawgletter and a lawyer for the other side why the case hadn't settled. "Testosterone?", someone said.

That friendly back-and-forth reminded us of something else that seemed to come from the glands rather than the brain. It took the form of a long tit-for-tat

Blawgletter didn't follow the Trayvon Martin case — State of Florida v. George Zimmerman — but when we heard about the verdict Saturday night we had one big question.

What did the jury charge say about reasonable doubt and self-defense?

Now we know, thanks to The Law of Self Defense blog, which posted the Zimmerman