Anticipating the Different Styles of Opposing Lawyers During Expert Testimony – Part 3 of 3
Many of the best ‘showmen’ become litigators and have the forum of the trial in which to demonstrate their acting experience. You may be inspired at the flair with which a showman-lawyer addresses the jury, the gallery, the judge, and you.
Staying calm and measured in your responses is one reasonable approach to take. However, if you are up to it, more animation in your voice and body language tends to counteract the effect the showman obtains through his mannerisms and movements around the courtroom. Don’t go overboard, but don’t appear wooden. Bring the juror’s attention to you by smiling at them while you answer the questions. Politely and professionally look at the attorney when he asks you each question.
Don’t be distracted or dismayed by the showman’s antics. That is his job. Your job is to capture the juror’s attention when you do respond, and to be convincing with both what you say and how you say it.
Finally, opposing ‘trickster’ attorneys occasionally keep their toughest questions until close to the end of the deposition day. If you are paying attention to every question and concentrating greatly on your responses, you will be more tired in the afternoon then you were in the morning. If the attorney is not worn out by the end stages of his own questioning, he may now hit you with his hardest questions. They may be questions that are more complex, or contain known difficulties for you, based on the facts in the case.
As discussed earlier a lawyer might restate one of your earlier answers, and ask a follow-up question. If you are tired, you might not recognize the subtle differences between your original answer and the lawyer’s restatement. Stay alert to any question that includes an obvious restatement of an earlier answer.
Do not accept any attorney’s restatement of an earlier answer of yours at face value.