Effective Testimony


How to be an Effective Witness

Prepared by:

Michael G. Thomas, partner Harper Grey LLP,
Chair Critical Injury Practice Group


Dr. Tracy A. Pickett, MD, M Forensic Medicine, FRCPC (Emergency Medicine)
FFCFM (RCPA), Medical Director, Sexual Assault Service (PHSA)

These are a series of videos that we have designed to assist healthcare practitioners to provide effective and persuasive testimony in legal proceedings; and to assist lawyers in preparing for and conducting effective direct and cross examinations of healthcare practitioners.

The videos and materials will illustrate:

  • The basic method utilized by lawyers in formulating a direct and cross examination of a witness;
  • How unqualified answers to general questions can impact the effectiveness and persuasiveness of the witness’ testimony;
  • How lawyers use clinical records, guidelines and medical literature to “box in” or restrict the evidence of the witness;
  • How to provide reasonable and persuasive evidence when being questioned by a lawyer at discovery or at a trial.

The videos of rounds 13, 15 and 16 are the culmination of the earlier rounds of cross-examination.  Some people view the videos in sequential order, others view rounds 13, 15 and 16 first and then watch the earlier rounds to see how the answers provided by the witness were manipulated by the earlier rounds.