How not to conduct a trial

The other day, I witnessed first hand why one should not ask for telephonic trial testimony.

First of all, it’s expensive.  You need to have a court reporter at both ends of the hearing.  In this case, one court reporter was downtown, while another was at the witness’ office on the North Side of Chicago.

The Witness clearly did not understand what was going on and what he was expected to do.  The court, via a telephone link, asked the witness to be sworn and that was done.  But after that, the witness could not figure out the exhibits, and when he fumbled with them and his own files, it was clear the matter was a lost cause.

Next the court asked the court reporter to hand exhibits to the witness, it turned out the court reporter had left the room and had transcribed nothing!

Word to the wise:  Unless the testimony is short and without exhibits, DON”T ever ask a court to do a telephone deposition.  It only turns into a mess.  Hearings are somewhat okay by phone, but there is simply no excuse for the attorney asking for an evidence deposition in advance.

Oh, and if your witness is a professional, PAY the professional their typical hourly amount for testifying.  The professional knows all the attorneys are getting paid–except her or him.  It’s insulting.

If you want your witness to do a good job, pay them and have them come to court.

Just a suggestion


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