Anyone that has watched a televised scene of a trial-in-progress has heard use of the term “cross examination.” Yet some examinations take place before the trial. Each of them is part of an examination for discovery.
What someone that has filed a personal injury claim should expect at an examination for discovery?
At that time both parties are part of a question and answer session. Each party gets asked to provide sworn testimony. There may also be testimonies from other witnesses.
What is the purpose of the examination for discovery?
It provides the Personal Injury Lawyer in Cambridge for each party with a chance to assess the credibility of the various witnesses. The lawyers take notes, because any statement from a witness might become the basis for a question to that same witness, during the course of the trial.
How should someone that has filed a personal injury claim prepare for the prospect of testifying at an examination for discovery?
That claimant should become thoroughly familiar with all the relevant facts. The same claimant should practice listening to questions. He or she might want to repeat any question that is posed by a friend or family member. Realize that it is not the claimant’s responsibility to have all the answers. Well-prepared claimants do not hesitate to declare their inability to answer a question, if that stands as a truthful declaration. Train yourself to think deeply about a presented question, before blurting-out an answer.
Gain an understanding for what sorts of statements qualify as a generalization. Make a point of avoiding use of any generalization, when answering the questions posed to you, while you offer testimony, as a witness. Learn how to use specifics, rather than exaggerations, when making a statement, in response to a lawyer’s question.
What is the biggest mistake that a witness could make?
That would consist of presenting more than one version of a given story. Lawyers doubt the veracity of a witness’ testimony, if it contains a great many inconsistencies. The presence of many inconsistencies suggests that the witness is not telling the truth.
That is why a well-prepared witness has taken the time to learn the facts, as those relate to a given case. Generalizations and exaggerations can appear to distort the facts. By the same token, a guess could introduce a minor detail that does not correspond to the truth. For that reason, witnesses are told to refrain from guessing at an answer.
During the discovery session the words of each witness get recorded. Yet no one records video footage. For that reason, witnesses are discouraged from speaking with their hands, since it is impossible to copy a single word of the hands’ message onto the audio recording.