Friday, May 12, 2006

Witness Prep by Trial Consultants

How should you prepare witnesses for trial? Could trial consultants help? This month's Washington State Bar News has an article discussing the issues:

Craig C. New, Samantha Schwartz, and Gary Giewat, Witness Preparation by Trial Consultants: Competitive Advantage or Invitation to Discoverability, Wash. St. B. News., May 2006.

One advantage is that the consultants may be able to help with aspects of the witness's communication style and demeanor that could affect the jury's impression. (I often have to remind myself to stop fidgeting when I speak -- and that's without the pressure of a trial!)

The authors are jury consultants, so the article is favorable, but they do mention criticisms and potential down sides.

New works for the Northwest firm Tsongas Litigation Consulting, Inc. Schwartz is a doctoral candidate, and New and Giewat already have Ph.D.s). Schwartz and Giewat are active in the national organization, American Society of Trial Consultants.

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