How to Use Witnesses Effectively- Part Two
For a witness to be effective, he or she must be prepared regarding the questions that you will ask, as well as those that you expect the board members to ask. In Coast Guard cases, you must also anticipate the questions that your opponent will ask. Any witness that I call in your case will serve two purposes- to establish functional limitations and bolster your credibility. They will also be trained to establish eye contact with each of the board members so that no one feels left out during their testimony. If a witness cannot appear in person, then we will call them by speaker phone. This requires a slightly different type of preparation by me as your counsel, but the goals are the same. Note- never, ever (on pains of death, as in your own), call a witness unless your counsel has thoroughly interviewed them and prepared them for testimony. If you ignore this advice, the results could be disastrous.