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Preparing Witnesses, 5th Edition: A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Their Clients

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Communication |  Counseling |  Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution |  Organization & Management of Legal Work |  Daniel I. Small
Never expires.


A witnesses job is to simply tell the truth as he or she knew it, then recount how they remember it now. This is neither an easy, nor a natural assignment, and to do it right takes hard work. There is also fundamental difference between a normal conversation and the precise and unnatural question and answer format, and preparing a witness for this difference is critical.

This completely revised and updated Fifth edition of Preparing Witnesses: A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Their Clients, will improve your witness preparation skills. By examining the general concepts, focusing on clear and simple rules and how to adapt those rules to different situations, Dan Small will sharpen your skills as a winning advocate. This edition includes a new focus on the gaps perceived between the attorney and witnesses, and how to effectively bridge those gaps. New chapters study special situations, and how to deal effectively with those situations. The book also includes a CD-ROM with all the accompanying appendix material, including memoranda outlining the rules of witness preparation.

There are many different witness situations, from government interviews to formal jury trials. Yet all are founded in surprisingly common themes and raise the same fundamental preparation issues. Written by ABA best-selling author and seasoned litigator Dan Small, this easy-to-read guide discusses the methods for developing a systematic witness preparation process. With reference to the similarities that exist in real-world depositions, this guide offers strategies to help make witnesses comfortable and effective in the courtroom, ultimately turning them from possible liabilities into assets to the case. This book is an invaluable aid in refining skills for delivering witness testimony with an impact.

274 pages, soft cover, 6"x9"


Praise for Preparing Witnesses

"Every day in the news, we see what a wide range of people become witnesses, and the enormous risks to those who are not adequately prepared. This excellent book simplifies the task of convincing clients who are 'too busy' just how important preparation is, and how it should be done."

Alan Dershowitz, Professor, Harvard Law School


"With the onslaught of government and private investigations and litigation, both executives and lawyers are finding themselves in uncharted territory. In this environment, good witness preparation has become essential, but all too rare. Dan Small's extraordinary book offers a way out: helping to teach witnesses and counsel how to communicate truthfully, effectively, and confidently. I strongly recommend it."

Honorable William S. Sessions, Former Chief Judge, United States District Court, WD Texas; Former Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation


"I have had the pleasure of working with Dan Small, first as a colleague in the Justice Department and later, while I was in private practice, as co-counsel in federal litigation. I have come to admire and respect Dan Small as an outstanding litigator. He understands that hard work and effective preparation are the keys to success in the courtroom, and is well known for his remarkable ability to prepare witnesses."

Rudolph W. Giuliani, Former Mayor of the City of New York


"Dan Small is a respected trial lawyer with an extraordinary understanding of the difficulties of being a witness. His book shows lawyers the right way to help clients through this complex and uncomfortable process. I recommend it to every practitioner."

William Weld, McDermott, Will & Emery. Former Governor of Massachusetts, Former Chief of the Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice


"Irving Younger's fourth commandment, like the motto of the Boy Scouts of America, is 'Be Prepared.' Dan Small defines preparation like nobody else in the vast literature of the law of trial practice. His step-by-step guide is both a model of clarity and a paragon of completeness. Anyone who would presume to engage in the perilous endeavor of trying a case in court - an undertaking with more variables than the Saturn moon shot - would be foolhardy not to take advantage of his wise counsel and advice. His book is not an option, but a necessity for the experienced and novice trial advocate alike." 

Alex Sanders, Founder & Chair Emeritus, Charleston School of Law, Former Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals