For medical malpractice.
For injuring you.
For causing you permanent harm.
All because he was careless during your surgery.
That's now going to affect you for the rest of your life.
When I question your doctor during his pretrial testimony, I catch him in a lie.
When that happens, I don't focus on it.
Your doctor doesn't know that I know he's just lied.
I didn't make it a big deal.
There's a reason for that.
I didn't want to give him a chance to explain.
I didn't want to give him a chance to change his answer.
Recorded by a court stenographer during his pretrial testimony.
That carries the same exact weight as if he's testifying in court at trial.
I know some attorneys who would have had a field day with that lie.
They would have torn your doctor apart.
They would have attacked him with his lie.
They would have shown his testimony contradicted his office records.
They would have shown he was a liar.
You know what?
I've used it myself many times.
That strategy might even get your case settled early.
It exposes a weakness that makes the defense realize they've got a big credibility problem.
However, in this case, I felt that would not be the ideal strategy.
I didn't want to give away this knowledge to the doctor or his attorney.
I was setting up a trap.
A trap that I knew he'd fall into at trial.
A brutally effective trap.
He wouldn't have any wiggle room.
He could try to explain all he wanted.
But the fact is that the jury would see him as a liar.
Let's get back to the title of this article.
Or is it better to soften the attack by calling him a poor historian?
The answer is, it depends.
It depends on what type of witness he is.
That's strong language.
That's harsh language.
The jury might understand.
However, if it's an 85 year old grandma, it's likely not a good idea to be so harsh.
I can merely point out that her testimony is inconsistent.
Her testimony is less than truthful.
Her testimony is that of a poor historian.
I don't have to show she intentionally lied.
It's really a judgment call.
My judgment call.
It depends on the witness.
It depends on the lie.
By the way, you NEVER tell the witness that he's a liar TO HIS FACE.
Because that will likely generate sympathy for the witness.
The jury may feel bad for him that I call him a liar to his face.
It's to do it during closing arguments.
When he's not on the witness stand.
When he can't answer back.
When the jury remembers the lie.