A lawyer and client, along with the defendant and attorney do not simply walk into a courtroom at the start of a trial. Lots of pre-trial preparation precedes the trial’s initiation. A resident of Alberta that has pursued a personal injury lawsuit might learn that he or she had to prepare for the questioning phase of the legal process. That phase precedes the actual holding of the trial. In other Canadian provinces, it is called discovery. In the United States, it is called deposition.
What is the purpose of the questioning/discovery?
It helps the personal injury lawyer in Lethbridge to get details, regarding a given client’s claim. Armed with those details, the lawyer can confirm the facts. By the same token, an attorney can use such detailed information to narrow the issues in dispute. In addition, the client and attorney can check on the credibility of any witness’ statements.
Tips for a client that will be taking part in the questioning phase:
• Make a point of becoming highly familiar with your case.
• Be sure that you tell the truth. That should allow you to remain consistent in your answers.
• Listen carefully to each question, before offering an answer.
• Do not attempt to answer a question that you do not fully understand.
• Never guess at an answer.
Never include in your answer any information that does not directly address the question that you have been asked. You hurt your chances for winning the case, if you volunteer information.
Some insight into what the 2 lawyers study during the questioning:
Understand that the lawyers for both parties will be present at the questioning. Each of them will watch for any evidence that the opposing party might be trying to hide a particular fact. Generally, a lawyer’s experience has taught that member of the legal profession how to watch for signs of someone’s effort to hide information. By the same token, experienced lawyers know when a witness has been truthful.
While your lawyer listens to the defendant, the defendant’s attorney will be listening to you. For that reason, you must be truthful and consistent. Whatever you say at the questioning/discovery should match with what you later say during the trial. If you say 2 different things, the defendant’s attorney will start doubting the veracity of your statements.
By keeping that fact in mind, you should gain a better understanding for why it makes no sense to guess at an answer. Those present at that challenging activity would never expect you to guess at an answer. In fact, no one would have a sound reason for raising an objection, if you refrained from answering any question that you did not fully understand.