Trial of a Personal Injury Case
If the personal injury case does not settle shortly after conclusion of the depositions, it is time to begin preparing for trial. It is necessary for you and your lawyer to meet in advance of trial to prepare. There is nothing wrong with a lawyer and client meeting to run through possible questions and answers.
Every lawyer prepares his or her witnesses. Good lawyers prepare exhaustively in hopes of accurately forecasting opposing counsel’s questions. If your lawyer is unwilling to spend the necessary time preparing you to testify, you may want to think about looking for a new lawyer. Witnesses testify much more compellingly when they are confident that the other lawyer will be unable to surprise them with unexpected questions. Preparation helps to assure this confidence.
The preparation session also helps to refresh your memory and suggests additional areas of inquiry the lawyer may not have thought of already. It lets the lawyer see the areas to avoid.
Some people think it is unnecessary to prepare for trial. Many resist taking the time to prepare and insist that everything will work out if they simply tell the truth. While having the truth on your side is critical, it is not enough to ensure fair compensation at trial. Careful preparation helps you (or any other witness) to relax so that you can offer testimony in an organized, thoughtful, and convincing way. This helps the jury to understand your testimony, to relate to it and to you in a positive way, to recall it accurately during deliberations, and most importantly, to be motivated to return a large award that fully compensates you.
The substance of your preparation session with the lawyer is privileged information. The defense lawyer is not permitted to inquire about it during cross examination. In fact, all communications between lawyer and client are privileged and private, unless the client waives that privilege.