Bond Solon provides Witness Familiarisation sessions for both witnesses-of-fact and expert witnesses who are required to give evidence in forthcoming legal hearings. Our courses are designed to mitigate legal risks by ensuring witnesses are aware of the process, procedure and skills required to deliver their evidence effectively.
Tailored to the specific legal hearing that the witnesses will be giving evidence in, the two sessions we provide are as follows:
Session 1 - Witness Familiarisation
The session demystifies the process of giving evidence and explains the techniques cross-examining lawyers use to disconcert and discredit witnesses. In the second part of the training witnesses will experience some cross-examination in a mock-hearing. This exercise will enable witnesses to build in confidence and receive feedback and tips on how to give clear and concise evidence.
Session 2 - Follow up Cross-Examination
Designed as a follow on from Witness Familiarisation, this session enables witnesses to undergo in-depth cross-examination experience and gain mastery of delivery of evidence. We strongly recommend this session for key witnesses, those giving evidence for more than one day, those giving evidence via interpreter or generally for any witnesses who you have particular concerns over when it comes to them giving evidence. Witnesses can be videoed and their performance will be analysed.
Sessions can be arranged for just one witness or a group of witnesses can undertake the training together.
We regularly prepare witnesses for a wide variety of legal forums including but not limited to: civil courts, international arbitrations, tribunals, inquiries, criminal courts, depositions, expert determinations, select committees, coroners inquests and professional misconduct conduct hearings.
Aside from helping prepare witnesses to appear in a variety of legal hearings, Bond Solon also offers courses for witnesses in the following areas:
- Statement Writing - This course is designed to provide delegates with the necessary knowledge and skills to write written evidence to best practice standards. Delegates will learn how to improve the structure, content and style of their statements. In addition to developing an objective and critical eye to their written evidence, delegates will also be taught how to insulate their statements against cross-examination.
- Expert Witness Report Writing - This course is designed to provide expert witnesses with the key skills and knowledge to produce court compliant reports, which adopt the style and format expected by lawyers and the courts. In addition to developing an objective and critical eye to their written evidence, delegates will also be taught how to insulate their reports against cross-examination.
- Experts’ Meetings - Delegates will acquire knowledge about the agenda, necessary preparation and legal requirements for an experts’ meeting, to ensure they are able to conduct themselves effectively and to best practice standards. Role-play will highlight the potential pitfalls in experts’ meetings and enable delegates to practice their newly acquired skills in this area.
- Interviewee Preparation – Investigative Interviews - This course is designed for those who are to be the subject of an investigative interview, whether as a witness or a suspect. The session will help them to understand the interviewing process, their rights when being interviewed and the different questioning techniques used during interviews. As such, interviewees will be in a position to answer questions clearly and effectively.
To discuss any of the above courses, please contact the Witness Familiarisation team on 020 7549 2549 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Witness Familiarisation?
It is a training process by which witnesses receive a comprehensive understanding of the theory, practice and procedure of giving evidence, applicable to the specific hearing in which they are due to appear. Witnesses will also consider the roles and responsibilities of the various people at the hearing, as well as lawyers’ techniques in cross-examination and how to overcome these. Most importantly, witnesses will experience cross-examination and practice evidence giving in a mock-hearing, led by an experienced lawyer trainer.
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Who can conduct Witness Familiarisation?
Strict rules apply to the provision of Witness Familiarisation and sessions must not be conducted by anyone with personal knowledge of the matters in issue in the case. Bond Solon is perfectly positioned to offer this type of service as we are an independent training company dedicated to offering legal training to non-lawyers and not a law firm or barrister chambers.
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Benefits of undertaking Witness Familiarisation:
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- Mitigates against the risk of a poor performance under cross-examination
- Enables witnesses to practice and hone their evidence giving technique
- Allows witnesses to experience cross-examination prior to a hearing
- Builds confidence in nervous witnesses
- Helps eliminate over-confidence in witnesses
- Run by experienced lawyers who are also professional trainers