Author: Jordan Stoltzfus

White Law Office, Co. > Articles posted by Jordan Stoltzfus

What is the White Law Office Annual Small Business Conference?

The White Law Office Small Business Conference (SBC) began eight years ago with the idea of connecting local business owners, their teams, and entrepreneurs with local resources. We, at White Law Office, firmly believe in the potential of the small business community. We also believe that we have a wealth of talent and resources in our communities that can help small businesses succeed. As navigating the legal, financial, risk management, and regulatory environments around small businesses have become more complicated, we saw a need to provide education and empowerment to local small business leaders. What began with thirty people in a conference room hearing from a handful of speakers eight years ago, has grown into several hundred owners, leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs gathering yearly to hear from a dozen local speakers, teachers, and service providers that have the goal of making their business as successful as possible. The reason we choose local resources to speak and teach at the SBC is because of observations we made attending other business conferences. So many times, we go to a large conference and hear from a recognized speaker, and we feel inspired to make a change. But when we turn to implement the change and have questions, we can't access that speaker. They live halfway across the country, have an entourage of public relations people, and we don't know where to start to reach out to them with our most basic question. The reason we choose local resources is we want attendees of the SBC to know they can...

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Giving Testimony: High Anxiety Part 2 – The Number One Mistake

Welcome to Part Two of my series of observations on the high anxiety of giving testimony. In this part, the number one mistake made by witnesses. Giving testimony is really a fairly simple procedure. Attorneys ask questions and witnesses give answers. Most questions are about something the witness has experienced. So, a good pattern of questions is similar to a journalist conducting an interview: who, what, when, where, how and why? Simple, right? Not so much. Especially with the "why" question, witnesses often commit the number one mistake in testifying: they guess. Whenever a witness says: "I guess," "I would imagine," "I'm pretty sure," "I suppose," or "from what everyone has told me," you know the witness is heading for trouble. Most of the time the last answer "what everyone has told me" is not allowed by the hearsay rule, but if you are an attorney whose witness is guessing, any objection you make in effect says "Sorry, Your Honor, my witness is an idiot and doesn't know what they are talking about." This is not a good position to be in when it is your witness testifying, much less if it is your client testifying. Why is guessing an answer the number one mistake in testifying? Because most of the time you will guess wrong! It never fails. Most guesses given under oath are just plain wrong. Trust me on this. I have had almost 40 years' experience of listening to bad guesses. Good trial attorneys know that. This is why if it is...

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