December 13, 2022

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Don’t Argue with Opposing Counsel

 
Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Today’s Tip is for all my law enforcement friends who find themselves in the hot seat being questioned by opposing cousel.  

The defense attorney isn’t always interested in WHAT you say. Rather they’re more interested in HOW you say it!

Testifying in court is one of those dreaded aspects of the job. Why do we need to be bothered with defense interviews or depositions when our report says it all? They know what you’re going to say–they have a copy of your report. Well, friends I’ve got news for you. The defense attorney isn’t always interested in WHAT you say. Rather they’re more interested in HOW you say it!  

That’s right. They’re interested in how you present yourself. You could have an air-tight case. But if you get into a room with the defense attorney and have a bad attitude, the defendant could end up with a better deal. Same thing with being argumentative or displaying sarcasm. It could blow your case before you even get to trial. And it will certainly leave a bad impression with a jury during a trial. 

It even might even be inadvertent. Maybe you roll your eyes or chuckle after the defense attorney asks a question. I guarantee that will rub at least one juror the wrong way. It may even lead to other issues in your case. Maybe it’s an implication of bias. Regardless, it’s very likely nothing else you say after that point really matters to some folks.   

However, if you’re asked the same question and respond professionally with facts from your report, your professionalism won’t go unnoticed.  

Attitude says a lot. So, bring your best to defense interviews or when testifying in court. Be professional and be prepared. And most importantly, stick with the facts. I guarantee it will go a long way toward successfully resolving your case! 

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.

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