Litigation Partner Dan Small co-authored a Compliance & Ethics Professional series titled "Powerful Witness Preparation."
In this series of articles, Mr. Small sets forth 10 time-tested rules to assist in the critical task of preparing witnesses.
The first rule for any witness, the rule from which all else flows, is to take your time.
READ: Rule 1: Take Your Time
The second rule for any witness is to always remember that you are making a record. Once words come out of your mouth, they are committed to the cold written page, under oath.
READ: Rule 2: Always Remember that You are Making a Record
The third rule for any witness is to always tell the truth. Lying, or stretching the truth, as a witness may not only be a crime. It’s foolish.
READ: Rule 3: The Pure and Simple Truth
The fourth rule for any witness is to always be relentlessly polite and relentlessly positive. This is not etiquette advice. It’s a survival technique.
READ: Rule 4: Be Relentlessly Polite
The fifth rule for any witness is to not answer a question you don't understand! To fully understand a question, the witness must apply three tests: Clarity, Comprehension, Comfort. Until a question has passed all three of these tests, the witness should not answer it!
READ: Rule 5:Don’t Answer a Question you don’t Understand!