Law firms spend hours doing research long before the average trial or deposition, but one detail that is often missed is witness preparation, an essential element of depositions and trials. After all, the impression a witness makes on the jurors is important, as it can affect their final decision on the case. This is not a good thing when the impression the jurors have is negative. Most witnesses have little or no experience testifying and training. Fortunately, witness preparation is available. This type of training strives to make sure witnesses are properly prepared for trial and deposition testimony. Here’s what you need to know about the importance of witness preparation and how Magna Legal Services can help with it.
A major aspect of preparing witnesses is ensuring they feel ready to testify. At Magna Legal Services, consultants understand the common challenges that witnesses typically deal with before and during the testimony. The goal is to help them overcome these issues by teaching them how to avoid behaviors that may give jurors a negative impression so they feel comfortable and confident as they testify during a case.
This starts with making sure they fully understand the purpose of their testimony, including the context and themes surrounding it. The consultants at Magna Legal Services offer tools and tips to help them answer the cross-examination questions they’ll hear in court. They can also use videotape feedback to show witnesses how to become more effective at getting their message across. This witness preparation training can put them at ease while improving jury perception.
One of the factors that can have a big impact on the outcome of the trial is jury perception, and this can be influenced in various ways. For example, many jurors focus on the perceived motive of the witness. If they believe the motive for testifying is to simply get the truth out, they’ll look favorably on the witness. However, if they think there’s an ulterior motive, the testimony may actually hurt the case because the jurors have a negative perception of the witness involved. Magna Legal Services can work with witnesses to make sure they come across as credible and confident in their testimony.
Since Magna’s consultants are experts at leveraging jury perceptions, they’re committed to working with witnesses to improve the odds of the jurors seeing them in a positive light. Magna Legal Services has done numerous studies and focus groups to determine which factors can improve jury perception of witnesses, and the consultants know how to train them to ensure they show those positive traits. They’re happy to work with witnesses to correct their behaviors when necessary before the trial or deposition.
Other Advantages of Being an Effective Witness
In general, few people are comfortable getting up in front of people and talking, especially when they have to explain what they saw or heard during a crime. This can be nerve-wracking for anyone, especially those who grasp how much their testimony matters to the case. This is why Magna Legal Services spends so much time and effort preparing witnesses for testimony.
Magna’s consultants can provide witnesses with the tools they need to effectively answer the often aggressive cross-examination questions. They work with witnesses to reduce negative behaviors they might not even know they have, such as talking too fast, mumbling, staring down at the floor, grimacing, shifting their eyes and more. Many people are not aware they have these habits, and even when they are, they don’t realize how the jury judges them as a result.
Overall, the consultants at Magna Legal Services have the knowledge necessary to improve the language, style and general demeanor of witnesses so they are prepared to offer their testimony and improve jury perception along the way. Not only does the training make witnesses more likely to be effective at the trial or deposition, but it also helps them feel more confident before getting in front of the jury. The more prepared and comfortable witnesses feel, the more likely they will help a case. This can put you at ease as you prepare your case for trial, and it can also give some peace of mind to your client and anyone else working on the case with you. Also, Magna can have frank conversations with a witness that the attorney may not feel comfortable having with his own client.
Witness preparation is vital before any trial or deposition, especially when the results hinge on the witness testimony. If you’re ready to learn more about how Magna’s witness communication training service can help you — or if you’re interested in other services like assistance with jury selection, court reporting and more — please contact us today!