link to information about Jury and Trial Consulting: The Synchronics Group Trial Consultants   link to services of Jury and Trial Consulting: The Synchronics Group Trial Consultants            


    capturing jurors' attention The Synchronics Group t: 415.626.2210
  winning opening statement 19 Divisadero Street f: 415.626.6527
> importance of eye contact San Francisco, CA 94117 e:
  studying jurors shoes    

The Synchronics Group adds value at every step of the pre-trial process, from conducting mock trials to selecting the jury, designing courtroom visuals and preparing witnesses. They are an absolutely key player in preparing for trial. "
Blyth Mickelson
Van Bourg Law Offices



Losing Eye Contact Communicates Vulnerability

People lose eye contact when they don't know the answer to a question, are confused, feel intimidated, feel vulnerable. They drop their eyes to think of an appropriate response. In that split second they lose their credibility. Losing eye contact is particularly devastating in the courtroom. A good opposing counsel will pick up on the hesitation and attack the witness with it.
To avoid your witnesses being nailed by opposing counsel, go over the weak parts of the testimony with them; rehearse the arguments so that they can look opposing counsel straight in the eye when they give their answers - without blinking or losing eye contact. Your witnesses should feel so comfortable with their answers that when challenged, they are able to give their testimony without faltering - or flinching -when opposing counsel attacks. By coaching your witnesses through the tough parts of their testimony to keep their eyes focused on opposing counsel, you keep your witnesses deflecting those attacks. Instead of hitting, the attacks miss the target, falling aimlessly and harmlessly by the wayside, out of the jurors' consciousness.
Maintaining a steady eye contact under assault makes your witness look steadfast and invincible in the eyes of the jurors. Jurors often do not understand the questions that are being asked, or the answers that are being offered, during cross-examination. They might miss the substance of the power play, but they are aware of the struggle. And any witness who meets the verbal assaults of opposing counsel without batting an eye communicates self-confidence and authority.
So when opposing counsel starts beating up on your witness, coach him/her to deflect the assaults by maintaining a steady eye contact, never dodging the attacks, never allowing them to hit.
How your witness responds to the assault is the message, more than the assault itself.