How In-house Lawyers Can 'Destressify' Going to Court

How In-house Lawyers Can 'Destressify' Going to Court Kamil Macniak/iStock

Court is a scary place. And for employees and executives of your company who aren’t as seasoned as in-house counsel, it can be even more frightening up on the witness stand. Julie Brook posted some ideas on the Continuing Education of the Bar of California site about how to calm clients down before a cross-examination.

  • “There’s always redirect”: It’s nice to know there’s a safety net, when it feels like you’re on a cliff high above water. Remind them that testimony doesn’t have to be perfect and that you can do a lot to repair anything damaging during the redirect.
  • Get the facts down and practice: Go over the key factors so the employee or executive can easily recall them. But do be careful of rehearsing too much, which will be reflected in the testimony, warns Brook. A “dry run” is another way to appease any fears. Take the person into the courtroom beforehand, and even see if there’s a way to observe the same trial judge at work. A mock cross-examination will also increase comfort levels about the unknown.
  • Physical relaxation techniques: “Encourage your client to use effective relaxation methods such as deep breathing, meditation, and exercise,” says Brook, and make sure to dissuade them from using liquor or tranquilizers.