Testifying at trial is always intimidating and stressful. Anyone who has to testify in a court of law should prepare beforehand. These specific tips from the Department of Justice that can help prepare you for your day in court.
Meet with an Attorney
The individual testifying must meet with their attorney to ensure they are on the same page. Knowing all the details pertinent to the case is essential. When an attorney and client meet ahead of time and agree on a course of action, it can help to strengthen the argument.
In a personal injury case, it’s crucial that the individual review all of their information, deposition, and police reports. Practicing the testimony with the attorney is also a good idea. The lawyer can also help the individual to practice the cross-examination, which is when the opposing lawyer questions them. At the same time, practicing doesn’t necessarily mean memorizing what to say. Credible witnesses testify in a manner that’s natural and conversational.
Go to the Courthouse in Advance
Going to the courthouse ahead of the trial date is also a good idea. It can make the experience even more natural if the individual goes at the same time as when they’re expected to appear on the trial date.
Things to Consider When Testifying
The most important thing to remember when testifying is always to be honest. While a person is under oath, they are expected to tell the truth at all times. Those caught lying under oath can be charged with perjury.
How You Look
It’s also essential for a person testifying to dress appropriately for court. All clothing should be clean, ironed, and neatly pressed. Any tattoos or piercings should be covered or removed for court. The way the individual presents themselves in court will show the judge and jurors that they are someone to be taken seriously.
Body language is also an issue while testifying. Someone is observing every movement a person makes while on the stand. A person testifying should be formal while outside the courtroom as well and should avoid contact with other lawyers, jurors, and witnesses.
What You Say
Saying “I don’t remember” or “I don’t know” in response to a question is acceptable, especially when it pertains to minor details. However, the person should always be familiar with the most critical things surrounding the case. At the same time, it’s important not to volunteer information.
If the judge interrupts during the testimony, the individual should immediately stop talking. Once the judge says it’s okay to speak again or one of the lawyers asks another question, it’s okay to resume speaking.
Appearing in court in front of a judge and other legal professionals can be a harrowing experience. The Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at Salpeter Gitkin LLP can help prepare you for your day in court. We take pride in ensuring that all of our clients are confident in their decision-making and prepared for whatever they may face during the claims process.
In the event your case goes to trial, our experienced team of attorneys will be there to ensure readiness. Contact us today at 954-467-8623 for a free case evaluation and to discuss your legal options.