Posts tagged direct exam
Ride the Ducks Trial Day 19: Dr. Kleweno

Wake up too early.  Go back to pretend sleep.  Lie there.  Perform countdown of how long it will all take.  Remember Alysha has gone to the cabin with Nala and the house is totally quiet.  No Nala to feed or take potty.  Or to laugh with.  Reduce countdown.  Thirty minutes later have donned black cream and red plaid slim slacks, red shirt with ruffles, favorite Boss black jacket and pointy toe heeled boots with tassles that swing back and forth. 

One of the challenges in representing 40 people in a mass disaster trial is to put on their medical damages cases without taking weeks and weeks.We have been streamlining the case not only since before trial began, but also during trial.

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Ride the Ducks Trial Day 14: Yuta

Just spent a weekend in Lululemon and now it is time to get court ready again.  There have been times over the years where have resented having to figure out what to wear.  Including whether to repeat or not in a long trial.  But dressing up for court is really like putting on a costume for the big show.  There is a stage and audience and what we wear is a part of the whole process.  So for the most part, don’t whine.  Messages are being sent by what we wear in court.

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Tips for attorneys: direct exam of a daughter

This is a trial diary excerpt from 2011:

Four more witnesses testify – but only want to talk about one of them.  The 38 year old daughter.

How do you turn a witness into someone a jury will connect with.  Well, for starters you stop believing  you have magical persuasive powers.  Presenting a family member means getting out of the way so they can show their love.  It means creating a safe place.  It means embracing the human condition.  Not in a data collecting, data spouting lawyerly way.

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The 4 lamest words used to conduct direct exam of a fact witness

Drive up to the gate.  Pay $15 for a parking pass.  Drive 100 feet forward and turn left.  Find a space and park.  Am barefoot.  Slip on shoes.  Exit car.  Walk around the side of the building.  Open the doors.  Am now inside the UW school of law.    Head down the hallway to room 138.  Open the door.  It's a big theater styled space.  Walk down the stairs to the front.  Give Bill Bailey a hug.  He’s a full time professor there for now.  This is the big lecture class for the trial advocacy program.

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Direct exam of a supervisor - he was freaked out really bad

We can't help it - us lawyers.  We have to go to school for so long - it's no wonder we stop talking and thinking like real people.  We say "prior" for before and "subsequent" for after.  We love words with lots of syllables.  Because this is what law school drilled into us.

In trial, we distance ourselves when we fail to communicate on a real person level.  That's the beauty of having witnesses who are not experts.  The jury can understand them.

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Direct exam of a father

Family member testimony helps a jury understand the human impact of injury.  The attorney will often become sidetracked by focusing on getting answers to specific questions that dot "i"s and cross "t"s.   Stilted, formal, data-based questioning is a good way to shut down these valuable witnesses.  Words after all, are less important than everything else that goes on when we form impressions.

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Direct exam of a medical expert

I'm on the treadmill watching Oprah.  She is interviewing Dr. Oz.   Their theme "5 lifesaving numbers."  He gives vivid easy to understand verbal answers.  He uses a video recreation.  He has a demonstrative aid.  I like it when he punches the plaque out of the artery.   It is really super.   Oprah is a phenomenal interviewer.  She channels the audience.  She “is” the audience in the moment.  Her goal is to educate and impress upon the audience, the importance of understanding and following Dr. Oz’s medical advice.

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