Pointers for Witnesses

A First Coast personal injury lawyer can prepare witnesses so that they testify in the best possible manner, resulting in ultimate believably. The following are further pointers for testifying witnesses. Confidence A crucial component of believability is confidence. A witness must be confident in what he says and how he says it, because whether a witness is confident is something that will be painfully obvious to the jury. A witness lacking confidence will speak in a low voice and without conviction, hesitating and bumbling through sentences. This type of speech pattern will decrease the likelihood the jury will believe and trust what a witness says. Confident witnesses, on the other hand, speak with energy, positivity and liveliness, putting forth an aura of believability. Speak with confidence and people will be confident in you and in what you say. Eye Contact When speaking, it is important to maintain eye contact with the attorney and to avoid looking at papers. If you are looking at papers, the jury will no longer make eye contact with you. In turn, this will make it less likely that the jury is paying attention to you. Moreover, if you are looking at papers and your attention is divided, you may struggle to understand what you are being asked. In fact, some attorneys will place papers in front of a witness during cross-examination, hoping that the witness’ attention decreases. When testifying, think of newscasters and other TV presenters; maintain eye contact at all times when communicating information. Refreshing Your Memory Testifying can be a nerve-wracking experience, possibly causing you to lose your train of thought or suffer from a brief memory lapse. It is therefore normal to want to examine records or pictures to be sure of what you are saying. Should you do this, however, do not read from the paper. Remember, maintain eye contact! Therefore, look at the paper, internalize the information you need, and then look directly at the attorney when answering the question. A lawyer steeped in preparing witnesses for trial can help you achieve optimal results in your case. If you require assistance with preparing witnesses for a personal injury case, contact experienced First Coast personal injury lawyer John Fagan today for a free consultation.

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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