A witness is any individual who offers information to the jury or judge about what they know or believe. In common law, a qualified witness is a person who has personal knowledge of a matter, whether or not they are actually testifying on behalf of any other witnesses. In civil law, a qualified witness, also called an expert, is an individual who can testify about an issue in court and provide documented statements about it. In criminal law a qualified witness in criminal cases is someone who testifies against a defendant and is able to provide documented statements that corroborate the defendant’s guilt or innocence. In both the civil and criminal fields, there are several types of witnesses. The types of witnesses in civil law can be cross-examiners, who are actual eye-witnesses, private eye witnesses, or expert witnesses.
In most cases, it is easier and quicker for a witness to offer his/her testimony in person rather than using any kind of recorded medium. When calling a witness, ask the person to tell you where they usually are and when they will be available to talk. It is wise to call more than one witness because each can offer new insight into the testimony. Also, you want to have the ability to review any transcripts, CDs, videos or live-streamed video of the testimony and compare them side by side. Knowing all of the information about the witness’s testimony will help you determine what is a proper witness testimony, as well as what is best represented by the witness’s voice or physical description.
A witness’s credibility is one of the most important factors in determining the outcome of a case. For this reason it is important to interview potential witnesses. The more you know about the potential witness, the more you can evaluate their suitability as a witness. In addition, you want to check how comfortable the potential witness will be testifying before you allow them to testify.
Many times, attorneys will hold a pre-trial inquiry with potential witnesses. This inquiry is important for two reasons. First, it will allow the attorneys to find out specific information about the witness. Second, it allows you to ask follow-up questions to which the witness will not answer. The information from the inquiry will help you develop your case by providing important details about the witness’ credibility.
What is a physical description? This question may seem obvious, but it is one of the most common questions asked by clients and attorneys. What is a physical description, often called a bio-pic, is an accurate representation of the way the witness described the events that occurred. The bio-pic will include details about the clothing worn, the jewelry or currency missing, or other items that were not taken at the time of the event. It is also important to note that a witness who provided an accurate bio-pic but refused to provide other witness testimony could potentially be considered unreliable. Therefore, you should consider asking the person what type of clothing or items was worn or taken.
What is a mental health report? One of the most important pieces of physical evidence necessary to support a claim is a mental health report. If a person can correctly describe how the incident occurred then their story can be considered reliable, even if the incident involved excessive force. A mental health expert, often a psychiatrist, will review the testimony and make an assessment.
What is a financial statement? Similar to a physical description, a financial statement accurately describes how money was spent at the time of the incident. This is extremely important because, if the event occurred while the insured was impaired, the resulting damage might not be covered. If a lawsuit resulted from an injury caused at work, the financial statements could provide the basis for damages. For example, if the injured person lost wages and incurred medical expenses during the incident, this could be covered by the injured person’s insurance policy.
What is a legal witness? Finally, the final category includes the types of experts that are often called in to give testimony about events. If a claim relies on expert testimony, it is important to ensure that the person has appropriate credentials. A legal witness can explain legal matters in layman’s terms, but an expert will have more training and experience in order to better understand how to interpret these laws.