In a contested divorce or custody trial, the testimony of witnesses is a critical factor in the outcome. This week's blog will address some of the important issues surrounding the use of witness testimony in trial.
who should i call as witnesses?
Your attorney will discuss with you the potential witnesses. Obviously, you will want to call witnesses that will offer testimony favorable to your position. Beyond that, witnesses that are credible, in that they are unbiased, honest and without impeachment evidence against them (such as a criminal history, drug use, etc.).
Witnesses that are physically attractive, engaging and able to communicate well will be more persuasive to the Judge and jury. Issues of appearance such as hair length and style, absence of visible tattoos, and clothing styles can make a difference in the outcome of the case.
how many witnesses should i have?
In many cases, less is more. Your attorney can provide guidance on what type and quantity of evidence will be best for your case. In a divorce or custody case, it is important to have enough witnesses to corroborate your testimony and the testimony of each other. On the other hand, having repetitive or unnecessary testimony is confusing and distracting to the Judge and jury.
what is my lawyer's role in developing witness testimony?
You should provide your lawyer with a list of potential witnesses and the subject matter of their testimony. Then, your lawyer should meet with the witnesses to determine what their testimony will be, how they present as a witness, and whether their testimony is important to the outcome of the case. Your lawyer will prepare the witness to testify and make suggestions about the presentation of the testimony. However, the lawyer cannot persuade or influence the witness to lie in court.
Having the right witnesses to testify for you, and having your witnesses fully prepared for trial are critical factors in the success of your case. If you're contemplating a divorce or custody case, contact the attorneys at Christiansen Law Firm. The attorneys at Christiansen Law Firm have significant trial experience and can assist you with assembling a persuasive case with the right witness testimony. Contact Christiansen Law Firm in San Antonio or Houston for additional information.