There are a few things to note when in a trial. First off, don’t be boring. People use visual aids and exhibits during the trial to draw out testimony and inform jurors about the client’s case. Using the same methods to make a stronger case, you should bring the deposition and testimony to life using visual aids, exhibits, animations, drawings, and more. Creativity is not a misdeed in court, but it’s important to prepare their visuals in advance.
In a recent deposition, we had construction zone workers use toys to reconstruct a construction zone scene where our client was killed. For example, we used toy highway warning signs and orange flags, toy cars, toy trucks, toy construction flagmen, etc. Using the method mentioned above, we were able to bring to life the tragic scene, so it was easy to make everyone who was watching grasp the circumstances. Another instance was during a Rule 30 (b)(6) deposition where we took basic but essential evidence from the case and put them on a PowerPoint slide, after which we had the witness mark the documents “true” or “false.”
Another thing to take note of when doing a trial is standing up. You may start the examination sitting down at your subsequent deposition, but standing up while examining the witness will make for a more compelling and engaging testimony after around forty-five minutes to an hour. Moving around the room also helps – use drawing boards and encourage the witness to look at the evidence provided at the time.
It’s an unconventional method, but it works. At some point, it might even throw off the defense. For instance, when you present a significant visual or exhibit at a crucial deposition, standing up to question the witness and asking them to stand up with you to draw on the board or mark the visual aid is a decisive move.
Recently, the defense did not want me to sit too close to its witness and made a big deal about where I sat at the conference room table. The defense’s counsel arrived early and eventually filled out the seats near the witness on both sides of the table. On the other hand, I decided to sit as far away from the witness as I could, which is ironic because I was about as far away from the witness as I would be in a courtroom when the witness was on the stand, and I am at the counsel table.
During that time, I stood up and began deposing the witness, whom I had to approach along with my exhibits and visual aids. I remember walking around the room numerous times to cross-examine the witness. I also recall how the witness had to stand up several times and engage with me through the visuals and documents provided. All things considered, it was a solid and effective examination during a deposition.
Lastly, it would be best to keep in mind that cross-examination is key to winning a trial. Make sure that you determine the most vital questions for cross-examination, make a note about all the crucial facts that the jury needs to know and the documents you need to impeach the witness. When watching a deposition video, you want the same cross-examination cadence during the trial.
A triumphant cross-examination has rhythm and builds momentum leading up to the jury’s established evidence. I first learned about how vital rhythm and cadence are to the jurors at the Texas Auction Academy when I went to auctioneer training.
Never forget to always grab and hold the juror’s attention, and when you’re prepping for your next deposition, always repeat this mantra: Depositions are trials.