5 Statements Lawyers Should Never Say in Court

When it comes to major case hearings, lawyers always have a lot to say. However, how the sentences that come out isn’t always what they expect. I conducted an interview with Chris Stoy, which is a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer at Hutchison & Stoy and had him list some of the most common statements that you never want to hear yourself say in court.

Here are 5 statements lawyers should never say in court:

“Can I please have a few minutes to sort out this issue?”

Fixing any sort of issue, especially technical glitches, during the middle of a hearing is something you don’t want to do in court. However, this is one statement that many lawyers end up saying from time to time. While there are some exceptions of technical difficulties that cannot be controlled, most problems are easily preventable. In cases like these, it is always best to have a backup plan.

“You might not be to see this clearly, but here it is.”

If valuable evidence is not clearly shown, why would the juror and judge include it in their decision? Make sure that whatever you plan to show is clearly visible. This is one of the most common mistakes we see in court. A good presentation provides high-quality text and projectors that include equipment, proper font sizes, and more. Be sure to use texts no smaller than 25. Small problems like these can easily be avoided. However, it is one of the most common PowerPoint mistakes litigators make.

“You can take my word for it.”

Litigators often catch themselves saying things like “you can take my word for it” or “believe me.” However, as a litigator, it is your job to prove the evidence to the case. If you find yourself saying something like this, it ruins the effect of the presentation and becomes an inadequate exercise for visual quality. The juror will take it as an excuse to explain your errors. With all the quality testing tools available, there is no excuse to make this statement and be unprepared.

“Put yourself in their position”

Known as the “Golden Rule” in the courtroom, this statement alone creates a negative approach to the case. Yet, we still see lawyers, even from the top law firms making this mistake over and over. The statement is meant to ask the jury to put themselves in their client’s shoes. However, it may do more harm than good. The purpose of the statement is to really help the jury understand. However, there is a line between how it is said and delivered. Avoid statements like “imagine if you were in their place and suffering or “reward my client the same as you would expect to receive.”

“Check out my next bullet point.”

Generally, the use of bullet points on slides must be avoided. This court will be forced to read them rather than listen to your presentation. Additionally, it is important to understand that you must not speak and show at the same time.

Keep these statements in mind for your next court presentation. Knowing what not to say will help guide you in better performance and in results.

4 Reasons Why the Consulting Expert is Vital in Science-Based Litigation

Consulting experts are important for the success of a trial case. However, many litigators fail to realize that the performance of the expert must be well experienced and engaged.

To better understand why we have compiled a few reasons why it is important to identify a qualified expert in science-based litigation. The testifier must be qualified and credible communicative to the jury. These details are often the success of a case.

Check out these 4 reasons why the consulting expert is vital in science-based litigation.

Experts have Limited Availability


According to AML Experts, the ideal consulting expert will have limited time due to their daily obligations as the leader in their field. That is why it is one of the most common challenges litigators have when working with a consulting expert. A testifier who conducts scholarly research, teachers, or simply committed to too many clients will be hard to work with. However, their opinions are vital to helping the court understand the science involved. Understanding the science will not be enough to cross-examine the other side’s expert witness. A consulting expert will provide useful details and take the time to prepare you for your case.

Understands the Litigation Landscape Better than Academic Expert Witnesses


Consulting experts understand the litigation landscape better than academic expert witnesses. However, this is an excepted of professional testifiers as many are not particularly experienced in litigation and may not be used to the manner of twisting and turning scientific evidence. A consulting expert will have studied the literature, as well as the positions of the reports, trials, and depositions. This will help litigators prepare for their testifiers more effectively.

Provides Meaningful Evaluation as well as Their Own


Consulting experts provide a better means of evaluating the case as well as their own. They can provide a thorough understanding of where the strengths and weaknesses lie within the evaluation. Today, clients are demanding the opportunities to find more ways to resolve disputes without having to spend big bucks on further discovery and retention. An expert will help access the case to help provide the effective cost-saving demands of the client.

Builds Network of Ideal Testifiers


The right consulting expert will also help you find ideal testifying experts for complex issues. This is ideal for litigators who don’t have the time to do their complete research into the science. The right testifier will provide the right candidates who have profound views that will answer the questions to critical questions. A quality consultant will help vet and the selection process in areas where the litigator cannot.

Conclusion

A consultant expert will help assess the areas of attack that can make or break the case. While lawyers are highly skilled at identifying errors of omission, logical flaws, and inferences that may damage the analysis, a consulting expert will dig deeper into the scientific research to help ensure that the argument is truly effective.

3 Strategies on How to Handle A Hesitant Expert Witness in Court

An expert opinion witness lies at the center of many cases. That is because its significance plays a strong role in the issues within the case. Expert witnesses are proven to be highly educated and brilliant specialists in their field.

Experts must be well-prepared for their testimony as well as every possible attack against it. This is where the case would be determined as a win or lose. Experts that fail to provide visual aids to support their testimony will become invalid and not useful for the case.

Additionally, they are also the individuals that can turn their testimony into a defeat or victory in court. The task is to allow them to be as effective as possible, which can be achieved through preparation. However, not all experts are welcoming to the challenge.

Some expert witnesses use visual aids to support their claims, while others use trial graphics consultants. These are meant to be used for technical presentations that are well understood in laymen’s terms. In other cases, expert witnesses are certain that they will already be well understood without the use of charts. So how does one convince an expert witness to testify in court?

Here are 3 strategies on how to handle a hesitant expert witness in court.

Boost Their Ego


Talk to the expert witness and tell them that most jurors and judges are not as intelligent as they are, so visual tools will help them to better understand the testimony. Using a related quote that help inspired their willingness to accept and motivated to communicate effectively. The right tool and understanding will help boost their ego and motivate them to speak with effective tools.

Use Video Tests on the Expert


If the expert witness is interested in improving the testimony, the best way to get started is to use repeat video tests. You can do this with an online evaluation service or with a live mock jury. Consider this as a rehearsal for the opening performance. Video tests will allow you and the expert to see their strengths and what they lack in their performance.

Let the Expert Go


It is important to understand that having the right evidence is not enough to win over a trial. An expert witness must be able to present their given evidence persuasively without causing confusion. Why try forcing someone into an uncomfortable situation that they are not ready for?

The expert witness will need to be just as confident as they are knowledgeable about their industry. This will clearly show on the stand if they come off as uncomfortable. Expert testimonies are based on 20% persuasion and 80% knowledge.

Conclusion

If the following strategies don’t help you reach success, perhaps it is time to let the expert go and shop around for another. As the litigator, it is not your job to thoughtfully explain the need for quality visual aids.