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Courtroom Demeanor Presented by Katie Callan- Retired Training Coordinator Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

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Presentation on theme: "Courtroom Demeanor Presented by Katie Callan- Retired Training Coordinator Pima County Sheriff’s Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 Courtroom Demeanor Presented by Katie Callan- Retired Training Coordinator Pima County Sheriff’s Department

2 Courtroom Demeanor COURSE CONTENT: Proper techniques for giving effective Dispatcher/Call-taker/Report writer testimony as a witness in court. Preparation, appearance, manner, and attitude are addressed.

3 Performance Objectives  Identify the steps to be taken in preparing to give courtroom testimony.  Identify Courtroom tactics used by Opposing Counsel  Identify the principles of effective presentation of testimony  Identify the methods of Court procedure.

4 Professional Appearance and Demeanor  Be punctual, if possible, plan ahead of time where you will park. If you realize you are going to be late, notify the court and/or prosecutor as soon as possible. Ask your attorney for a phone number ahead of time so you can be prepared to telephone them if necessary.  Plan to arrive early, giving the prosecuting attorney time to speak with you prior to the beginning of the trial

5 Professional Appearance and Demeanor cont…  Always dress appropriately, even on your days off. You represent your department and professional attire is the standard guideline. Check your department Rules and Regulations for required attire. DRESS LIKE A PROFESSIONAL No alcohol No gum Clean-shaven or trimmed facial hair No tight-fitting or revealing clothing

6 Professional Appearance and Demeanor cont… Clean and pressed clothes or uniform. Uniform shirts MUST be tucked in. Men- Dress shirts should be tucked in and a tie and jacket are appropriate. Ladies- Shirts not tucked in should have an even hem. Dresses or skirt length should be no shorter than 2 inches above the knee No inappropriate or distracting jewelry. Large bracelets, rings, earrings, etc are distracting to the jury. Have nothing in your pockets or on your person that “jingles” (e.g., coins, keys, earrings).

7 Professional Appearance and Demeanor cont… No athletic shoes, sandals, (except dress sandals), flip flops etc. Shoes should be professional appearing. Avoid wearing items that may identify a personal association or belief. Political buttons, club pins, college rings, religious jewelry, may trigger some prejudices against you in the mind of a juror. Avoid wearing tinted or dark colored glasses in the courtroom. People will not believe you if they cannot see your eyes

8 Professional Appearance and Demeanor cont…  When placed under oath, stand erect and speak clearly. Your demeanor on the witness stand is an important part of your testimony When called to the stand, do not look at the prosecutor until you are ready to testify Sit erect, leaning slightly forward Arms should rest comfortably on the arms of the chair or your legs

9 Professional Appearance and Demeanor cont… Do not cross your arms, your legs, clench the chair or exhibit other nervous reactions (i.e., Cracking your knuckles and clenching and unclenching your fists) Avoid being perceived by the jury as silly, cocky, argumentative, bored or defensive The jury will evaluate you in part by the way you act in and around the courtroom. Remember, someone is always watching

10 Professional Appearance and Demeanor cont… DO NOT speak to any of the jury panel during the trial or its recesses, to avoid the appearance of impropriety. On the other hand, when testifying, speak to the jury panel, they are your audience Be polite to the attorneys on both sides of the case.

11 Professional Appearance and Demeanor cont… Show respect to all of the courtroom officials. Be particularly attentive when the judge is speaking. Listen to what she/he is saying and be prepared to respond. Always speak directly to the judge ALWAYS address the judge as “Your Honor”. If you must address the Court staff, use their respective titles, (e.g., “Mr. Bailiff”, Electronic devices like cell phones, pagers, etc, must be turned off.

12 Preparing to give Courtroom Testimony  Refresh Memory Preparation begins with consistently writing complete, factual, informative narratives and/or reports Do not discuss the case with anyone other than the prosecuting attorney, unless that attorney has directed you to do so

13 Preparing to give Courtroom Testimony  Refresh Memory Cont… You should never testify without first having reviewed the report/narrative related to the case Do not surprise the prosecuting attorney. Make sure you disclose any unusual or omitted facts prior to testifying

14 Effective Presentation of Testimony  Defense attorneys have four (4) main avenues of attack Memory- are you recalling details of the incident consistently with the information you wrote in the report or the call Perception – No one perceives an event with 100% accuracy

15 Effective Presentation of Testimony Narration- this is the ability to testify in a manner which communicates information in a way that is understandable ( this includes brevity and clarity) Honesty- Are you believable? This also includes objectivity and emotional control

16 Effective Presentation of Testimony  Honesty Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth NEVER LIE. Lying puts you on the same level as some criminals Consider your reputation and the reputation of your department There are criminal penalties (perjury) and employment penalties (discipline/ termination ) for lying Never guess at the correct answer. Do not hedge unnecessarily. If you do not know the answer, say so. It is appropriate to say that “you don’t know”, or “do not remember”, if that is the case. Never say “I guess” or “I suppose”

17 Effective Presentation of Testimony  Brevity Answer only the question that is asked. Do not volunteer information Be direct and brief, but take the time to answer the question completely Relate facts, not conclusions or suppositions Do not begin to answer before the attorney is finished speaking Do not assume that you know where the attorney is going with their line of questioning Do not be defensive or argue in a courtroom, or interview

18 Effective Presentation of Testimony  Clarity Speak loudly and clearly Remember that you are on the record. (Either tape or court reporter) Do not talk over someone else When referring to people in your testimony, use their names Do not nod or shake your head as an answer. Always answer verbally Give the prosecutor time to object before you answer. If an objection is made, wait until the judge rules before answering If you do not understand a question, ask that it be repeated or rephrased Avoid police jargon or jargon relating to your job

19 Effective Presentation of Testimony  Objectivity Answer all questions truthfully Your job is simply to report the facts Avoid any contact with the jury except when testifying Avoid careless comments to ANYONE

20 Effective Presentation of Testimony  Emotional Control Be calm, courteous and confident Control your reactions to the testimony of others and to rulings by the judge. This includes non- verbal communication such as rolling your eyes, or allowing anger or frustration to be seen in facial expressions

21 Effective Presentation of Testimony If the defense attorney makes you feel like he/she is attacking your testimony, remain calm and professional. The prosecuting attorney will take care of any objection, if the question is out of line

22 Techniques for answering questions  Listen to the question – Make sure you hear the entire question before answering  Don’t answer until the meaning of the question is clear – If you do not understand the question, ask to have it clarified. Do not try to clarify it yourself by asking “Do you mean …..?”. Request the opposing counsel clarify the question  Don’t volunteer information – This is the most frequent violated commandment for effective testimony. Do NOT try to be helpful. Do not refer to anything not asked in the question. Make the other side work for what they get  Watch for double questions. Attorneys might put two questions into one. Be prepared to answer each one individually. Don’t let this catch you off guard. Don’t try to “mix” your answers  Watch for hypothetical questions. Don’t let the opposing counsel drag you into a “guessing game”. STICK TO THE FACTS

23 Techniques for answering questions  Be cautious about “yes” or “no” questions. If your answer can not be explained with yes or no, then state “I’ll have to explain my answer”  Pause before responding – This technique serves a dual purpose. It allows the witness to understand the question and think  If you don’t know, you don’t know. “I don’t know” is more credible than a dishonest answer or guess  If the answer is no, say “No.’ don’t equivocate  Admit any mistakes- Do this as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of the jury/judge questioning your entire testimony  Stay within the limits of what you really know  Be HONEST

24 Methods of court procedure  Direct Examination- Questions directed by whichever attorney (Prosecuting/Defense) you are testifying for. (e.g., if you are a witness for the Prosecutor, they would do the Direct Examination)  Cross Examination- Questions directed by the opposing attorney. (e.g., If you are a witness for the Prosecution, these questions would come from the defense attorney)

25 Methods of court procedure  Re-Direct Examination- Questions again directed by “your” attorney after Cross-Examination  Re-Cross Examination – Questions directed by opposing attorney after Re-direct Examination

26 Courtroom Tactics by Defense Attorneys  Challenging the credibility of the prosecutions witness. Tactics defense counsel may use in order to diminish your credibility

27 Courtroom Tactics by Defense Attorneys Offensive – rapid fire questions. – This is where the pause before answering may be most helpful. Take your time and think about the question before answering. Do not allow them to lull you in to rapid fire answers Condescending counsel – This tactic may be used to see if an emotional response can be elicited. Do Not take the bait. Do not let this type of questioning “upset” you Friendly counsel – Do not believe for one minute the opposing counsel is your “friend”

28 Courtroom Tactics by Defense Attorneys Badgering – Good technique to try to obtain any emotional response from a witness. If the opposing counsel can get you to “lose your cool”, “cry”, etc., this can influence your credibility with the jury/judge

29 O.J Simpson Not guilty of Murder in criminal trial Guilty of wrongful death in civil trial.

30 Adam Lanza – Sandy Hook Adam Lanza Adam Lanza - Sandy hook

31 Guy next door or Convicted Murder?? Scott Peterson. Convicted of killing his wife and unborn son in 2004

32 Girl next door – Jodi Arias Convicted of Killing Boyfriend.

33 Jared Lee Loughner Tucson Shooting. Gabrielle Giffords-

34 Sirhan Assasinated Robert Kennedy

35 Andrea Yates Convicted of drowning her five children

36 Heidi Fleiss Los Angeles madam. Convicted

37 DISCLAIMER TThis Information is to be used as a general guide. It is not meant to take the place of counsel advice or counsel instructions. Remember, you represent the Agency you work for. Be Professional. You never know who will be watching you and you can never re- make a first impression QUESTIONS??


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