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Online Seminar

Powerful Witness Preparation

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Counseling |  Factual Investigation |  Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution |  Daniel I. Small
Daniel I. Small
6 Hours
Audio and Video
Never expires.



Realize that testimony is far removed from a conversation. It is a precise and unnatural process that requires meticulous preparation – a skill that can be taught, but not one that you’ve encountered in a formal setting. Even if you’ve presented hundreds of witnesses, you can improve your abilities, increase your winning percentage, improve your efficiency as an advocate, and drastically reduce the stress of not knowing which way a witness might take you, or which way that witness might be led astray!


Dan Small has built a brilliant career on his ability to prepare witnesses to be compelling advocates for his client, even if the witness is his client. As a federal prosecutor, general counsel for a healthcare management company, and as a partner at Holland & Knight, Small has used the same process that he will teach to you to introduce the witness to the foreign land of the deposition, hearing, or courtroom and to prepare them to tell the story in a way that connects to jury or judge and produces winning results.


He is a respected author on this subject — Preparing Witnesses: A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Their Clients, (4th Edition, American Bar Association). Dan represents witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants in wide-ranging investigations and proceedings and in both civil and criminal litigation; that incredible breadth of experience is reflected in the bottom-line practical counsel he offers in this highly-acclaimed seminar.


You will discover new tips, tactics and techniques that will make you a more effective advocate. Period.


•     Learn the step-by-step method to teach your client the basic principles of testifying.

•     Give your client the confidence to exercise the right, the responsibility and the tools to take control of their testimony.

•     Level the playing field where the questioner usually has the advantage.

•     Alert your client to the most common witness mistakes and share practical tips to avoid them.

•    Increase your expertise as an advocate, and give yourself a winning edge in the litigation process.


Program Agenda & Detail

6 Hours Including 1 Ethics Hour

Part 1 [1:32:00]


I.         Bridging the Gaps
a. The Perception Gap
b. The Conversation Gap
c. The Audience Gap

II.         Understanding the Need
a. Treacherous Environment
b. Unnatural Environment
c. Deceptive Environment

III.       Understanding the Audience
a. Humanize the Witness
b. Humanize the Party
c. Simplify the Language
d. Simplify the Message

IV.         Understanding the Challenge
a. Three Mistakes Witnesses Make
b. Seven Mistakes Lawyers Make



Part 2 [1:29:30]

V.         Understanding The Process
a. Preparation – Key Steps
b. Preparation Checklist
c. Key Goals

VI.        Understanding The Rules
a. Basic Principles
b. Framing the Message
c. The 10 Rules
d. Making an Impact


Part 3 [1:29:45}

VI.        Understanding The Rules (continued)
c. The 10 Rules
d. Making an Impact


Part 4 [1:29:00]


VII.       Understanding the Witness

a. The Non-privileged Witness
b. The Vulnerable Witness


VIII. Understanding The Situation
a. Interview v. Testimony
b. Deposition v. Trial
c. Direct v. Cross

IX.      Understanding the Expert Witness
a. Role of the Expert
b. Expert/Attorney Relationship
c. Independence of Experts
d. Expert Communications

X.        Ethical Challenges
            Preparation Does Not Mean Coaching!

a. Extremes and Reality
b. The Perjury Dilemma
c. Conventional Wisdom vs. The New Order

XI.         Core Themes/Home Bases

XII.        Understanding the Keys
a. The Witnesses’ Bill of Rights




Daniel I. Small's Profile

Daniel I. Small Related Seminars and Products

Holland & Knight LLP

Daniel I. Small

Holland & Knight LLP
Boston, Massachusetts

Daniel  Small

Holland & McDan Small’s expansive career provides the unique basis for his excellence as a teacher and author. His impressive body of work includes lawyering for the U.S. Department of Justice, work as corporate general counsel for a national healthcare management firm, and private practice with both small and large firms.

Practitioner, Author, Lecturer
He may not have seen it all, but he’s seen a lot of what lawyers do — from varied and meaningful perspectives. In addition, he is a noted author for the American Bar Association (ABA), has served as Lecturer on Law at Harvard University and is a frequent television, radio and newspaper commentator on legal issues.

Dan is a partner at Holland & Knight, LLP in their Boston and Miami offices. He represents witnesses, plaintiffs an defendants in wide-ranging investigations and proceedings and in both civil and criminal litigation (including fraud, regulation, insider trading, revenue recognition and more).

Small is a member of The Florida Bar and the Massachusetts Bar. He is a 1979 graduate of Harvard Law School and a cum laude graduate of Harvard College. He was recently inducted into the honorary society Litigation Counsel of America.

Recognized Litigator
Dan is recognized for his work in defending Edwin Edwards, a legendary Louisiana political figure. And he is published in the August 2011 Massachusetts Lawyers Journal and in the January 2012 and May 2012 editions of Compliance and Ethics Professional.