What Makes a Great Witness?

Everybody thinks that they’re a great witness. Everybody thinks before they walk in there that they’re going to be a great witness. But that’s not necessarily the case with every client. People get on the witness stand and because they – before they get on the witness stand, they have to take an oath and they have to look at the judge and they have to stare at a jury that’s looking at them and all this is just – builds up anxiety and builds up stress that you may not remember how to answer the question or you may not remember all the details that you need to explain to a jury that pertains to your case.

You may get off the witness stand to stay, “Oh, I forgot to say this,” or “I forgot to say that.” That happens all the time. So not everybody is a great witness. What makes a great witness is somebody who’s going to keep the story the same through direct examination and through cross-examination because once a bit, one sentence, one word to your testimony is different, that bit is going to get just destroyed on cross-examination.

That’s what I do as a lawyer. So what makes a good witness is keeping the story the same. Don’t add to it. Don’t try and get dramatic with it because you’re in court.

It’s probably maintaining the status quo throughout the whole case. But the truth is, 99 percent of the cases settle and there’s a reason why they settle, and if you get an opportunity to resolve your case without going to trial, consider that.


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