Your Attorney or the Jury: Who to Talk to on the Stand
Work with experienced Tampa Trial Attorneys. We can help you prepare for your day in Court.
You’ve made the long walk to the witness stand, you’ve sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, you’ve sat down, and now a couple of attorneys in suits are going to take turns asking you questions. Sitting nearby behind a tall desk is the judge, robed in black and looking official.
Also nearby is a jury box filled with a group of your “peers” whom you’ve never met. Some of them do not look all that impressive, several are wearing jeans, one is hard of hearing, and a couple are young enough to be your children… and yet, it is this group of people you must convince. This collection of ordinary teachers and dentists and construction workers will weigh whether you are telling the truth and whether you should get the outcome you want. Under our great system of jury trials, it is the jury who will decide your fate.
More than anyone else in that courtroom, it is the jury you want to connect with. You want to be able to help them to see you as a real person with real emotions and real problems that they want to help you fix. Looking at the jurors while you are testifying will help you build a human connection with each of them.
In our system of justice, the jurors do not ask a lot of the questions, and when they do it’s always through the court, so you never have a chance to have a real conversation with them. The best you can do is to make eye contact. Some attorneys prefer that you speak directly to the jurors as if they asked you the question themselves; other attorneys prefer that you maintain most of your eye contact with the attorney asking the questions but occasionally look at the jurors. Your attorney will tell you before trial what he or she prefers. Either way, let the jury see how sincerely you feel about the information you’re sharing. Let them feel what you are saying about your accident or about how your doctor committed malpractice. Use your heart, voice, and eyes to help them understand.
If you are in need of a legal malpractice, personal injury, medical malpractice, accident, or whistleblower lawyer in Tampa, Florida, the Tampa Bay attorneys of Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore would be pleased to speak with you.