How to Conduct Yourself While Giving Testimony

personal injury attorney in JacksonvilleYour testimony is the opportunity to convey your story using your own words. Many times jurors will focus closely on a plaintiff’s behavior during testimony and will either find a plaintiff’s case to be more or less believable based on what they observe. If you are testifying during your trial, it is important that you spend a significant amount of time preparing for your testimony with your personal injury attorney in Jacksonville. While preparation cannot prepare you for everything, it can help you anticipate the types of questions you can expect to receive and make you feel more comfortable about telling your story.

Important Tips to Keep in Mind

There is no universal method by which testimony should be delivered but there are certain behaviors that are never acceptable for a witness to engage in.

Arguing with Opposing Counsel

A trial is an adversarial process and you cannot expect opposing counsel to go easy on you. If there is an opening to attack some portion of your testimony, you can expect opposing counsel to do just that. As a witness, it is important that you always keep your cool and never engage in an argument with opposing counsel. If opposing counsel is overstepping the line, you can expect that your personal injury attorney in Jacksonville will make the appropriate objection.

Bringing Documents to the Deposition Room without Your Attorney’s Consent

This is a huge mistake that many clients make. Any documents that you bring to the deposition room are discoverable. This means that opposing counsel can ask to obtain a copy and review the documents. This applies even if the document would not have been otherwise discoverable. If you have documents that you want to share with your personal injury lawyer in Jacksonville, discuss it with them before the deposition and most certainly before your case goes to trial. If you need documents to help recall certain events or data, discuss that with your attorney as well. Err on the side of caution and bring absolutely nothing with you except what your attorney approves.

Not Telling the Truth

The worst thing that you can do as a witness is ruin your credibility by giving testimony that is not true. No matter what the question is or how detrimental you think the answer could be to your case, you must always tell the truth. If a problem is created, your attorney will find a way to try to minimize the damage but you must never knowingly tell a lie while giving testimony. If you cannot recall something it is ok to say so. Never make up facts or exaggerate details. Doing so will never help your case.

Contact our Personal Injury Attorney in Jacksonville

If you have been injured in an accident you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact First Coast Accident Lawyers at (904) 278-1000 to discuss your case with our personal injury lawyer in Jacksonville. The sooner you make the call the sooner we can begin working for you. Call our office today to find out what legal rights you may have available.

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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