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Witness Preparation: When Does it Cross the Ethical Line?

Witness Preparation: When Does it Cross the Ethical Line?

Witness Preparation_675

We all know lawyers have a duty to prepare witnesses to testify at trial or deposition. Because the process takes place behind closed doors and cloaked in the attorney-client privilege, it is often referred to as the profession’s “Dirty Little Secret”. Despite the protections offered by the “Cone of Silence”, there are ethical obligations and lines that cannot be crossed. The general rule that you can instruct a witness “how to testify” but not “what to say”, often becomes blurred in the heat of the prosecution and defense of the controversy. This program will answer many questions, including the following:

  • When does “coaching” cross the line?
  • How is witness preparation affected by a sequestration order?
  • Can a witness be instructed in law, in other words given “the lecture”, before being asked what happened?
  • Since words matter, can lawyers alter the words?
  • Can lawyers change a witness’s appearance, demeanor or confidence?
  • Can lawyers create memory or inducements to testify falsely?
  • Can multiple witnesses be prepared together?


Moderator: Theresa M. Levine, The Law Office of Theresa M Levine, PC

Moderator: Jerry Hathaway, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Lou P. DiLorenzo, Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC

Cara Greene, Outten & Golden

Section Member Price: $40.00 Join (or renew) for special member pricing
Non-Member Price: $100.00
Published Date:
  • November 18, 2021
  • Online On-Demand
Product Code:
  • VLM71
Ethics and Professionalism Credit(s):
  • 1.0
Skills Credit(s):
  • 0.5
Total Credit(s):
  • 1.5