Lieff Cabraser partner Brendan Glackin has written an article for the Daily Journal entitled “Once a Witness is On the Stand, Things Can Only Go Wrong” about the challenges attorneys face when their clients take the stand in court. While the dramatic aspects of unexpected reveals are often larger in the criminal context, the piece notes that civil cases can nevertheless present worrisome challenges at the moment when clients are put before a courtroom to face open-ended questions.
As Glackin observes, “the first, last, and most important rule of direct examination (other than telling the truth is this: prepare.”
If there is bad testimony, you need to hear it in advance so you can plan around it as opposed to hearing it for the first time in court.
Amidst a wealth of other tips and recommendations, the piece notes that it’s critical to have clear communication with clients in preparation for trial so that they understand precisely what information needs to be highlighted for the judge and jury, that spontaneity is overvalued, and that scripting and rehearsal can make or break a case.
The full article is available on the Daily Journal website (subscription required).
About Brendan Glackin
A partner in Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office, Mr. Glackin represented direct purchasers of titanium dioxide in a nationwide antitrust class action lawsuit; direct purchasers of flat-panel TV screens in litigation against the world’s leading LCDs manufacturers for conspiring to fix prices; retailers in a monopolization pricing lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories charging that the company exploited the market for AIDS medicines used in conjunction with Abbott’s prescription drug Norvir, and represented employees in the high-tech workers class action alleging that major Silicon Valley firms colluded to reduce competition for workers. He presently serves on the Lieff Cabraser team representing The Charles Schwab Corporation in the LIBOR manipulation suit.