Pointers for Witnesses

A First Coast personal injury lawyer can prepare witnesses so that they testify in the best possible manner, resulting in ultimate believably. The following are further pointers for testifying witnesses.


A crucial component of believability is confidence. A witness must be confident in what he says and how he says it, because whether a witness is confident is something that will be painfully obvious to the jury. A witness lacking confidence will speak in a low voice and without conviction, hesitating and bumbling through sentences. This type of speech pattern will decrease the likelihood the jury will believe and trust what a witness says. Confident witnesses, on the other hand, speak with energy, positivity and liveliness, putting forth an aura of believability. Speak with confidence and people will be confident in you and in what you say.

Eye Contact

When speaking, it is important to maintain eye contact with the attorney and to avoid looking at papers. If you are looking at papers, the jury will no longer make eye contact with you. In turn, this will make it less likely that the jury is paying attention to you. Moreover, if you are looking at papers and your attention is divided, you may struggle to understand what you are being asked. In fact, some attorneys will place papers in front of a witness during cross-examination, hoping that the witness’ attention decreases. When testifying, think of newscasters and other TV presenters; maintain eye contact at all times when communicating information.

Refreshing Your Memory

Testifying can be a nerve-wracking experience, possibly causing you to lose your train of thought or suffer from a brief memory lapse. It is therefore normal to want to examine records or pictures to be sure of what you are saying. Should you do this, however, do not read from the paper. Remember, maintain eye contact! Therefore, look at the paper, internalize the information you need, and then look directly at the attorney when answering the question.

A lawyer steeped in preparing witnesses for trial can help you achieve optimal results in your case. If you require assistance with preparing witnesses for a personal injury case, contact experienced First Coast personal injury lawyer John Fagan today for a free consultation.

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