Monday, October 31, 2016

Two Easy Tips For Persuasive Expert Testimony

Experts are experts in their subject matter, but not necessarily experts at testifying, as many a lawyer has found out at trial, much to his/her dismay.

One way to make sure your expert testifies in a way that will persuade the jurors, is to have your expert formulate "umbrella statements." These are statements that give an overview of what is to follow.

For example, an expert might begin with the umbrella statement "Upon examination, I found significant differences between X and Y," rather than launching immediately into a description of the features of X, not mentioning Y until 10 minutes later, and not discussing the differences between the two until another 10 minutes has elapsed. Jurors need to be guided. Without the benefit of an "umbrella statement," jurors don't know what they should be listening for. Your expert's excellent points may be lost in the clutter.

Another way is to have your experts bottom line key points as they conclude a given
segment of testimony. Phrases such as "To sum it all up," or "What this means is" are helpful in introducing a concise, condensed, easy-to-remember version of  the critical point just made.

With a jury, clarity and easy-to-grasp concepts/points make for the best testimony.

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