The Better Witness Handbook
A Guide for Testifying at a Deposition, Hearing or Trial

Every day people give testimony under oath without knowing the legal rules or having some practice in how to listen and respond effectively to questions they will be asked by attorneys or judges. This handbook is written to help the inexperienced person better prepare to give testimony. It also answers many basic questions, such as what the difference is between a deposition and trial testimony, why a deposition is taken and who will be attending, what kinds of questions will be asked and how to formulate effective answers, what to do if one's memory fails, how to get through a difficult cross-examination, how to avoid clever lawyer traps or attempts to put words in one's mouth, the best ways to control anxiety and worry, how to dress to make a good impression, and what demeanor is appropriate or inappropriate for the deposition and courtroom. The reader learns what to expect so that he or she will be better prepared to face any questioner with confidence and a realistic understanding of what will happen at a deposition, hearing or trial, and why. In short, the reader will be a better, more effective truth-teller. The book includes many examples demonstrating the principles and guidance that apply in a variety of situations. Also available in Kindle™ and Nook™ versions.


WHY BUY THIS BOOK?

Every day, people give testimony at hearings, depositions, and trials without knowing the legal rules or having some practice on how to listen and respond effectively to questions they will be asked. Despite television portrayals, giving testimony under oath is not the same as having a conversation. In reality, it is unlike any form of communication most witnesses have had. Basic familiarity with the legal process and an opportunity to practice various question-answer formats enables a witness to enter the legal arena with less anxiety and more confidence.

WHAT DOES THIS BOOK COVER?

People with little or no experience as a witness have many valid concerns and questions. This book build witness confidence and effectiveness by providing practical advice on such topics as :

  • The difference between a deposition and trial testimony
  • Why a deposition is taken and who will attend
  • What kinds of questions will be asked
  • How to answer questions effectively and with confidence
  • Avoiding clever attorney traps and attempts to put words in one’s mouth
  • What to do if memory fails or recall is impossible
  • How to get through a difficult cross-examination
  • Best ways to control anxiety and worry
  • How to dress and act to make a good impression
  • How to act at a deposition and at trial
  • Becoming an overall better communicator

After reading this book, a witness will know what to expect and be well-prepared to face any questioner with confidence. In short, it helps convert inexperienced witnesses into better witnesses!


BOOK DETAILS

Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-0977751198
PAGES: 112
COVER: Soft
SIZE: 6" x 9"
EDITION: First (2013)

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Angela M. Dodge, Ph.D.

Angela M. Dodge is a litigation psychologist whose consulting practice is based in the Seattle-Tacoma area of Washington State. She has prepared several thousand witnesses to give more effective and compelling testimony. Her expertise in assisting with jury selection, conducting pre-trial focus groups, and in preparing witnesses for deposition and trial has earned her a solid reputation as a consultant and conference speaker. In addition to her practice, she is currently lead author on a series of handbooks on specific jury-focused strategies for contemporary trial practice.

John H. Ryan, Ph.D.

Dr. Ryan is a senior partner with Dodge Consulting & Publications, LLP. An experienced consultant and clinical psychologist, Dr. Ryan has 35 years of experience in communications, group dynamics, stress management, and mediation. As an expert in interpersonal dynamics and human behavior, he provides a variety of litigation consulting services, including witness preparation, jury selection, and pre-trial focus groups.