Testimony fulfills an important purpose during court proceedings—it provides witnesses the opportunity to tell their side of the story and evoke sympathy from a judge. In order to build the strongest testimony possible, an attorney will most likely recommend that his or her clients utilize the following tips.
Preparing Witnesses for Testimony
Although a divorcee's statements should not sound rehearsed and scripted, it is essential that witnesses prepare and study their testimony beforehand. There are many benefits to extensive preparation, such as:
- It forces divorcees and their attorney to coordinate their case strategy
- Witnesses are oftentimes less nervous about speaking in court
- The testimony is usually more concise and influential when rehearsed
Prefacing a Client's Testimony
Lawyers are allowed to give opening statements to preface a witness' testimony. Essentially, this enables the attorney to set the stage for his or her client's statements and potentially showcase the witness in a sympathetic light.
Elements of the Best Testimonies
Effective testimonies are easy to spot. Ideal testimonies typically exhibit the following characteristics.
- Expressive but not overly detailed
Testimonies should detail some aspect of the witness' life. For example, a divorcee may describe his or her everyday childrearing responsibilities when explaining why he or she should receive custody. The best testimony in this situation could encompass elements like:
- Transporting children to and from school
- After school care
- Providing kids' basic necessities such as food and hygiene
A divorcee who can portray him/herself as a caring person who deserves compassion and sympathy is a much more effective witness than someone who appears aloof and cold because of vague or rambling testimony.