Ten Degrees of Separation
How to Avoid Crossing the Line on Witness Preparation

February 2018

By: John Gaal and Louis P. DiLorenzo

Witness preparation is an accepted practice in the United States. Attorneys are not only expected to prepare witnesses for trials and depositions, but it is their professional responsibility as advocates for their clients to do so.

Attorneys often meet with witnesses before they give testimony to discuss with them what they should expect at an upcoming proceeding. Although there is no explicit affirmative duty to prepare a witness for trial, the failure to do so can constitute a breach of an attorney’s professional responsibility, as attorneys are required to “competently” represent their clients...

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Reprinted with permission from: New York State Bar Association Journal, February 2018, Vol. 90, No. 2, published by the New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207.