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Author: Jordan Stoltzfus

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

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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March 2018 White Papers

Most of us have had a moment in our life when we imagined being wealthy. When I say wealthy, some of you may think about having money for a private jet. If you are like me and don't own a private jet, you might be interested in knowing that a new private jet can cost somewhere between 5 and 70 million dollars. At some point in our life, most of us have let our minds wonder about all the great things we would do if we were wealthy in the way that we as an individual define being wealthy. This can be a fun daydream for a few minutes, but we usually come back to earth and realize that we are probably not going to own a private jet in our lifetime....

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