Trial Strategy – Do You Call All Of Your Witnesses At Trial

Transcription:

Brendan Lupetin:
How many witnesses did you do by a pre-recorded video?

Peter Pentony:
We had two and ended up not playing one. It’s two doctors. The one we played was about 20 minutes, a pain management doctor, who was a really good and to the point. The other one was a 50 minute video. Our witness had done really well. We felt like he was strong. They didn’t score any points in cross, but as the case progressed and we felt like we were really rolling down a hill with the way the evidence was coming in, we thought, let’s just not push our luck and play this 50 minute video and keep people sitting in the jury box, watching that and feeling like maybe it was dragging. So we cut it out.

Brendan Lupetin:
Really? So you had one of your medical witnesses, I’m guessing just on medical damages and you decided that the case was going so well, you didn’t want to bring it to a grinding halt, so to speak, and decided just not to play that video at all?

Peter Pentony:
That’s exactly it. Yep.

Brendan Lupetin:
I think that takes a lot of experience and courage to make decisions like that. But I think they’re so important. It’s just, you know what, we, we, we took the witness, we got to play it, you know, but you’re saying, no, I’m in the flow of this trial. This doesn’t fit right now. I think we’re better with that.

Peter Pentony:
Yeah. I wish I could take credit for a lot of the genius there. What the situation was — the client’s treating doctor was a real nice guy. Real careful doctor, never testified before, never been in a courtroom. His deposition in our case was his first deposition ever, and was nervous about it. So we had sort of the old pro on video as well. So when the treating doctor actually came to trial, he was willing and calm. He was comfortable with the precautions taken. He was just a great witness. I think, unlike a lot of doctors who start to see this as old hat and they don’t prepare very much, he had taking this really seriously and putting a lot of effort into making sure he was ready for anything. And he was just a great witness and he was so good that we thought we don’t need the video.

Brendan Lupetin:
That’s a stroke of good luck in the course of the trial that you get the expert treater who really prepares like crazy to do a good job.