Synopses & Reviews
Every day in the United States, ordinary people are called to testify in court. Most of them have never been involved in a legal proceeding. But they have probably seen witnesses in high-profile trials on television, being harshly cross examined, looking nervous or anxious—perhaps even humiliated. The thought of testifying can be scary. Being subpoenaed can lead to weeks or months of anxiety until the day arrives when they raise their right hand and swear to tell the truth. This book is for them. Whether testifying at a trial, arbitration, or deposition, this book will help witnesses get ready for the experience. Easy-to-follow, illustrated tips prepare them to be a more compelling witness. The book contains answers to common questions, such as: What can I expect when I testify? How can I be a prepared and trustworthy witness? What is the key to calming my nerves? What questions should I ask the lawyer who called me? How do I keep my emotions in check? Can I channel my nervous energy into something positive? and How can I prevent getting flustered while testifying? Distinguished trial advocacy instructors who have been teaching lawyers to be self-assured communicators for 35 years now employ their techniques to help people who find themselves in the witness chair.
"An incredibly useful guide, and so easy to follow. This is a gem." —Mary Pat Dooley, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney
"Having a book like this will bring comfort to the witness. It effectively and concisely informs readers regarding both what to expect in a setting that is foreign to them and how to prepare themselves in order to best present their testimony . . . An outstanding primer for witnesses." —Hon. Jane M. Beckering, Michigan Court of Appeals
Whether you are testifying at a trial, arbitration, or deposition, this book will help you get ready for the experience. Easy-to-follow, illustrated tips prepare you to be a more compelling witness. Find answers to common questions: What can I expect when I testify? How can I be a prepared and trustworthy witness? What is the key to calming my nerves? What questions should I ask the lawyer who called me? How do I keep my emotions in check? Can I channel my nervous energy into something positive? How can I prevent getting flustered while testifying? Distinguished trial advocacy instructors Brian K. Johnson and Marsha Hunter have been teaching lawyers to be self-assured communicators for 35 years. Now they employ their techniques to help people who find themselves in the witness chair.
About the Author
Marsha Hunter, a specialist in legal communication, trains attorneys to speak confidently and persuasively in all settings. Under her guidance, trial lawyers sharpen their advocacy skills and corporate attorneys refine their presentations, becoming more articulate, fluent, and eloquent. Hunter teaches lawyers, and only lawyers, in the arts of oral advocacy and public and professional speaking. Hunter teaches lawyers to use their bodies, brains, and voices for effective professional speech, employing pragmatic and immediately useful techniques for gesturing naturally, thinking clearly, and speaking persuasively. She cites recent developments in gesture research when answering the frequently-asked question What do I do with my hands?” as well as the latest research in cognitive science to help lawyers think clearly in voir dire, openings, direct and cross ex¬aminations, and closing arguments. Hunter also helps trial lawyers grapple with the syntactical challenges of each phase of trial, eliminate thinking noises such as um,” and control the pace of their speech. For corporate attorneys, Hunter teaches advanced fundamentals of persuasive public speaking. She offers techniques that ensure polished, articulate speech, whether presenting to a board of trustees, a community group, or a small office gathering. Marsha Hunter is a principal in Johnson and Hunter, Inc., with legal clients in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. She teaches communication skills for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, the U. S. Department of Justice, elite law firms, and bar associations and law societies from Belfast to Tasmania. Hunter has published articles in many legal publications, including the American Bar Association Section of Litigations The Woman Advocate and the Texas Bar Journal. Johnson and Hunter founder Brian K. Johnson has worked as a communication consultant to the legal profession since 1979, teaching persuasion to trial lawyers and public speaking to transactional attorneys. Every year he works one-on-one with hundreds of attorneys to help them analyze and improve their skills. His international consulting practice takes him to elite law firms and training programs throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as overseas to the United Kingdom and Europe. He has taught Solicitor Advocates in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Dublin, Ireland, and has twice trained federal prosecutors for the Republic of Estonia. For the past decade Johnson has trained all new Assistant United States Attorneys at the Department of Justice National Advocacy Center. He has been a communication specialist for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy since 1981. In 2000, NITA recognized his unique contribution to the teaching of advocacy skills by presenting him with the Honorable Prentice Marshall Faculty Award. He was the first non-lawyer in NITA history to receive this honor. For 25 years his courtroom communication skills lecture/demonstration with Marsha Hunter has kicked off the NITA National Trial Skills Session in Boulder, Colorado. Marsha Hunter and Brian K. Johnson are co-authors of The Articulate Advocate: New Techniques of Persuasion for Trial Lawyers (Crown King Books, 2009), a 2010 Silver Medal winner in the Benjamin Franklin Awards from the Independent Book Publishers Association, and The Articulate Attorney: Public Speaking for Lawyers (Crown King Books, 2010; second edition 2013). Barbara J. Richied is a graphic designer and illustrator living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has designed for print, video, and the web. Her client list includes 3M, St. Jude Medical, Best Buy, and Aveda.