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Author Archives: Daniel I. Small

Commentary: The Witness Bill of Rights

These are not legal “rights” formally set forth in some statute or case. Rather, they are based simply on fairness and common courtesy.

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Commentary: 7 steps to a relentlessly polite witness

Whatever the tone of the questioner or the questions, the witness’s response should always be the same: coolly, unflappably, relentlessly — even infuriatingly — polite and positive.

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Seven big mistakes lawyers make on preparation

Just as the political campaign mantra “It’s the economy, Stupid!” was designed as a reminder of what was most important, perhaps law schools should add: “It’s the client, Stupid!” to the inspirational Latin phrases that adorn their ivy halls.

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Commentary: Litigators, help your witnesses fill the gaps

To prepare a witness, lawyers must help the witness — and themselves — define, understand and bridge each gap between a witness's real-world experiences and the strange, unnatural world of being a witness.

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