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The Importance of Knowing When to Sit Down and Shut Up - Litigation News

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Litigation News

Posted on: Jun 15, 2015

By Timothy F. Deveraux, Ladendorf Law

As noted in a recent article, “You can memorize the file, learn to ask piercing questions and even write a compelling brief, but most difficult, especially for young lawyers, is to know limits—how far to probe, how much to ask, and when to stop, sit down and shut up.” 

The dangers of going too far with witnesses are often overlooked. They are not fully covered in trial practice classes at law school and only learned after unexpectedly losing at trial. The problems with asking too many questions of a witness are often counterintuitive and arise at the worst time if counsel hasn’t thought about what he or she wants to accomplish with this testimony.

To avoid learning these lessons that hard way, check out: “Going Too Far with Witnesses” by Kenneth Nolan.

This post was written by Timothy F. Deveraux of Ladendorf Law. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Litigation Section page, please email Rachel Beachy at


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