I From the moment you enter the parking lot, be polite to everyone you encounter. This means in the coffee shop, the rest rooms, and hallways, as well as the courtroom.
II Address the attorneys by name, or as Sir or Ma’me, and the judge as Your Honor.
III Remember that the reason that you are in court is to help the jury understand the scientific and technical aspects of the case.
IV Focus on communicating in words the jurors can understand. Avoid jargon, and speak in clear, concise “sound bites.”
V Dress like a professional. Avoid excessive jewelry, outrageous neckties, and lapel pins.
VI Always tell the truth, as opposed to a lie. The whole truth, as opposed to a “half-truth.” And nothing but the truth – which means don’t embellish your answer with misleading qualifiers.
VII Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know,” that means that you did know the answer to theother questions you answered. On cross-exam, 80% of questions will begin with, “Isn’t it a fact …,” “Wouldn’t you agree…,” “Is it fair to say …,” or “Isn’t it possible …” Listen attentively to all questions. If there is something you don’t understand, ask for clarification or rephrasing.
VIII Always take the time to prepare for direct and cross-examination with the sponsoring Attorney. If the attorney balks at paying you for your time – do it for free! Don’t go to court unprepared and think you can “wing it.”
IX Recognize that cross-examination is confrontational, and see it as an opportunity to demonstrate grace under pressure. Never get defensive. If something nasty or untrue is alleged, don’t lose your temper, just politely and respectfully state that he/she is mistaken.
X Be yourself, have fun with the questions, and remember that you know more about your field than any other person in the courtroom – that is your expert advantage!