Tag Archives: testify

Friday Fun

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Just some humor to brighten your Friday.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law attorney and reminds you to find the humor when and where you can…

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Tips for Witnesses.

Today’s advice is for potential witnesses.

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#1 Don’t refuse to talk to the attorney if they call to talk to you, unless it’s smart to not to.

You don’t have to speak, but if you do you may can avoid a subpoena or having to testify later.

#2 Don’t try to refuse a subpoena.

It’s tacky. Refusing to touch the papers does not invalidate service.

#3 Don’t be rude.

I get you have a job, but so do I. I attempted to call you weeks ago and do this politely. You refused to answer or speak. You refused to call back.

#4 Don’t lie to get out of testifying.

It’s tacky too. And dishonest.

Matthew Thompson is a divorce attorney and just wants the facts.

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Do Not Answer a Question with “Sure.”

Testifying in Court can be hard. It causes stress, anxiety, and it is seldom a great experience. However, some responses should be eliminated from your vocabulary.

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(adjective) surer, surest.

1.  free from doubt as to the reliability, character, action, etc., of something:

to be sure of one’s data.

2.  confident, as of something expected:

sure of success.

3.  convinced, fully persuaded, or positive:

to be sure of a person’s guilt.
(Slang definitions & phrases for sure)
Yes; certainlySure, I’ll support you (1842+)
While a slang use for sure could mean yes, it does not sound like it in Court.
NOT GOOD
Q: Mr. Witness, don’t you agree that telling your child that the other parent is a deceitful, hateful train-wreck is inappropriate.
A: Sure.
It sounds dismissive. It could be treated as a “whatever” response. You do not want to create an impression with the Court that you do not take the matter seriously.
BETTER 
Q: Mr. Witness, don’t you agree that telling your child that the other parent is a deceitful, hateful train-wreck is inappropriate.
A: Yes, I did. It was wrong. I regret it. I will not discuss grown up things with the child again. I’m sorry for that.
This response is not dismissive. It answers the question. It demonstrates remorse and that the conduct will not repeat itself.
BEST*
Q: Mr. Witness, don’t you agree that telling your child that the other parent is a deceitful, hateful train-wreck is inappropriate.
A: Yes, I agree that would be inappropriate, but I never did that, nor would I.
This response is the best. It answers the question directly and advises the Court you did not do the conduct being complained of. (This response is only possible if it is the truth.*)
Of course you can say the word sure and use it in other responses, but it should likely not be a one-word response.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law attorney in Mississippi and is sure that you should not answer a question with “sure” most of the time.
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