ADVICE TO MY WITNESSES
by Day R. Williams, Attorney at Law
1. Dress well for court (or a deposition). No tank tops, no shorts, no halter bras, no short skirts, no sandals. Do not wear a hat or sunglasses into the courtroom. Do not chew gum.
2. Before you enter the courthouse, the guard will ask you to go through a scanner. Do not bring knives, guns, or other weapons to court. Turn off your pager or cell phone.
3. Do not volunteer information when you are on the stand. Do not talk to the Judge unless the Judge directly questions you.
4. Do not engage in distracting activity while opposing counsel is argues to the judge or questions a witness. Do not indicate approval, disapproval, or make any other reaction to a witness’s testimony or to counsel’s arguments.
5. During court proceedings, refrain from body gestures or facial contortions.
6. Be on time.
7. If you are a party, you will sit beside your lawyer. If you are a witness, you may have to wait outside the courtroom until you are called. Bring reading material. Do not talk about the case to anyone, except to tell the bailiff to what case you were summoned to appear, while you are waiting.
8. Keep your voice down while you are waiting outside the courtroom. In the courtroom you should not talk while the trial or hearing is in progress, unless of course you are called to testify.