Theatre Skills & Expert Witnesses

Using Tools & Techniques from the Theatre in the Presentation and Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses

A one day workshop presented by Courtroom Boot Camp and Lessons From the Stage

Act I - The Challenge

As every lawyer knows, the best story wins. Stories are the ultimate tools of persuasion — they are the emotional glue that connects you to the jury. The facts may be on your side, but they are not enough; you need to frame them in a compelling narrative, so that juries don’t just listen ...
they care. 

Lawyers also know that expert witnesses, are very factual, speak tech talk and deliver testimony without much flavor.   For the expert testimony to be effective, counsel must first understand the substance of the expert’s work and then guide the expert so that the testimony supports the compelling story and is embraced by the judge and jury.  

Act II - Lessons From The Stage

Using the Tools, Techniques and Strategies of the Theater to Deliver The Winning Story

The work you will experience in Act II will help you discover your client’s story faster and more effectively, using the timeless tools of the theater. It will help you find the emotional connection to your case … and win.

Act III - Using Theatre Skills in The Presentation of Experts

The Intersection of Theater, Communication Skills and the Legal Parameters for Expert Testimony

In Act III we integrate Lessons from the Stage into the crafting and delivery of direct examination of counsel’s own expert and the cross-examination of the opposing expert.   We explore approaches to to preparing the experts to deliver their testimony so that it is professional and objective, but also compelling and supportive of the theme of counsel’s story.

Act IV - Courtroom Skills Clinic

Presenting and Cross-Examining Expert Witnesses

In Act IV we move into a courtroom setting and incorporate Lessons from the Stage into traditional approaches for the persuasive presentation of expert witnesses and effective cross-examination of opposing experts.  

We will identify the ways that the expert’s credibility is impacted through the challenge of credentials, assumptions, methodology, evidence and professional standards. The clinic will include live mock trial segments during which attorney participants will have the opportunity to present and cross-examine experienced experts, and be critiqued by our seasoned faculty members.

Upon completion of the program, attendees will be able to:

  • Techniques to weave the three universal laws of powerful storytelling – conflict, struggle, resolution – into your communications with the jury
  • Ways to integrate “left and right brain strategies” to maximize your connection to the jury and maximize your overall effectiveness in litigation
  • Implement the communication approaches and dynamics that facilitate credible expert testimony.
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in anexpert’s analysis and opinions.
  • Develop direct examination to highlight the strengths and insulate the weaknesses of an expert’s opinions.
  • Implement examination approaches to facilitate complex   financial, technical, scientific and other concepts in terms that are understandable by the judge and jury.
  • Recognize and control defensive tactics employed by seasoned experts.

Program Faculty

JESSE WILSON, HUMAN CONNECTION, COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST, AND TRIAL LAWYER CONSULTANT 

MICHAEL G. KAPLAN, CPA/ABV/CFF CVA MAFF, FORENSIC EXPERT & EDUCATOR

Jesse’s work is powerful-- not just simply in the way he presents, but in how he empowers the audience to ‘discover the story.’  Anyone, in any context, who faces the challenge of moving a group of people to action must attend Jesse’s Tell The Winning Story intensives.
Mel C. Orchard, Spence Law Firm, Jackson, WY 
I have found that Mr. Kaplan's insights along with his teaching style to be something that can only be described as superlative.  His knack for demonstrating how to simplify the complicated has served as an invaluable resource for my professional development.  
Robert M. - CPA, CVA, MAFF, Birmingham, AL

Please contact us about
future programs