Mock Trial Witness Preparation

Bald Eagle - Witness Preparation

In this episode of “Mock Trial Flight School” about witness preparation, Attorney and Speech Coach Brian Bellamy teaches you the basics of how to prepare an excellent witness performance. Demonstrate public speaking and presentation skills through a dynamic witness performance. Performing by giving helpful and favorable testimony in the face of controversy and cross-examination might be the best part of competing with a mock trial squad and the most fun. Listen to the podcast episode to understand how a great witness performance is potentially game-changing in the outcome of a trial.

Mock Trial Flight School Episode 1 - Witness Preparation

How to prepare to be a great witness

Coach Bellamy covers the following topics in this episode of the podcast:

  1. Knowing the witness
  2. Preparing and analyzing the witness role
  3. Practicing the witness testimony
  4. Teamwork.

Show Notes and Outline for MTFS Ep. 1

How to prepare to be a great witness

a) Intro

  • Knowing the witness
  • Preparing
  • Practicing
  • Teamwork

b) Know the story and personality of your witness

  • Background
  • Behavior
  • Personality

Method Acting

- The "system" cultivates what Stanislavski calls the "art of experiencing" (to which he contrasts the "art of representation").[5] It mobilises the actor's conscious thought and will in order to activate other, less-controllable psychological processes like emotional experience and subconscious behaviour, sympathetically and indirectly.[6] In rehearsal, the actor searches for inner motives to justify action and the definition of what the character seeks to achieve at any given moment (a "task").

c) Prepare a timeline for your witness

  • Know the sequence and order of events/facts

d) Prepare a list of strengths and weaknesses for your witness

  • Help the attorneys develop the best case theory
  1. Best fit
  2. Strength/weaknesses (facts)
  3. Character of witnesses in the case
  • Know how to answer questions most favorably
  • Be prepared for dealing with weaknesses during cross-examination

e) Help your attorney cover all of the strengths during direct examination

  • Support your teams theory of the case
  • Avoid gaps in testimony that prove the elements of the case

f) Practice direct examination

  • Gain confidence
  • Discover weaknesses in knowledge and understanding
  • Practice your acting skills

g) Practice cross-examination

  • Gain confidence
  • Practice giving most favorable testimony
  • Practice your acting skills

h) Teamwork

  • Do your part
  • Know the witness – meet - discuss, share, debate
  • Timeline – share, prepare together (both need to know)
  • Fact analysis – co-dependent, witness and attorney must share thoughts and analysis
  1. Case theory – requires witness understanding, collaboration
  • Practice
  1. Fun
  2. While learning law, analytical skills, and soft skills from speaking, acting, participating in the rigor

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