Control of witnesses can be tricky. Asking the right kind of questions will communicate with the jury when the witness is being hostile.
Do not ask for assistance from the court to instruct the witness to answer the question, unless the examiner is sure the request will be granted. However, it still has an element of weakness. Also, the judge may make a comment that can be devastating to the examiner, such as “she did answer the question.” However, the objection “non‐responsive‐move to strike” may be appropriate. Control of a witness does not include rudeness or contempt. Juries don’t respond well to that type of behavior.
John A. Snow
Parsons Behle & Latimer
- Attorney with Parsons Behle & Latimer, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Practice consists of general civil litigation, including commercial, professional malpractice, construction, and insurance coverage and defense
- Designated in The Best Lawyers in America as Lawyer of the Year in litigation, real estate, and construction law; and designated in the areas of practice of legal malpractice defense, commercial litigation, and construction
- Designated in Utah Business magazine’s Utah Legal Elite in the areas of business and civil litigation and construction law and as a Super Lawyer in the Mountain States in Super Lawyer Magazine
- Chair of the Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee of the Utah State Bar
- Can be contacted at [email protected] or 801-536-6772
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