Communication Techniques

Fighting Practical Challenges in Virtual Depositions

A year ago, taking virtual depositions from your home was likely not the standard. Yet due to COVID-19, depositions from your home office, dinner table, or bedroom have become the norm for the forseeable future. With the advancement of technology, it is possible to hold virtual depositions in an efficient and productive manner. Unfortunately, you are at a disadvantage with virtual depositions of adverse witnesses… especially when it comes to assessing their behavior. In one-on-one interactions, there are two lines of communication: verbal and nonverbal. Verbal encompasses the things we say while nonverbal relays the things we feel. We often obsess over the verbal and give little conscious regard to the nonverbal. Non-verbal communication is commonly referred to as body language. Body language offers a form of communication that is far more connected to our emotions, thoughts, and feelings than verbal communication. Because of this, it is far less easy to manipulate than words. Therefore, each time we are unable, untrained, or unwilling to analyze body language, we are missing an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and apply it. Even before COVID 19, assessing body language was a difficult task. Comprehensive knowledge of the various indicators of deception isn’t prevalent [...]

Maximizing Client-Attorney Interactions

Your client is being deposed by Bill, a partner at one of the most prestigious law firms in town. Bill asks your client when he last saw Ms. Davies before the accident at work. Confident in your client’s answer, you scroll down your notes, readying yourself for the smooth sailing that will become the home stretch of what would otherwise be a long litigation process, ending in a big win for your client and, of course, you. Feeling as if someone spills icewater on all of your internal organs, your face goes flush and your heart stops when your client responds to Bill differently than how you had scripted. Your whole defense was based on when your client last saw Ms. Davies and thus that one small detail that you knew you had 100% solidified was somehow altered. So how did Bill get different information from your client than you did? Was your client lying to you the entire time? How did you not notice? Or maybe your client changed his mind about what had happened at the last minute? Bill is a master manipulator, but he wouldn’t coerce a false response that easily, would he? Of course he didn’t, [...]

The RCAC Method For Trainers

Knowing your audience is important. While I was in intelligence training I received a brief regarding the capture of Saddam Hussein. I know the instructor was putting out incorrect information at times, if not embellishing, when telling us how the intel was developed. How did I know this? Well, I was sitting next to one of the two interrogators who procured the intelligence that found Saddam Hussein and I knew the factual account quite well. Don’t assume everyone is a novice to your information just because you’re giving a class on it. On the flip side, it can be difficult to judge what information they already have and what you need to fill them in on, especially when delivering a course with complex information. Whether you have a class size of 5 or 500, ensuring everyone is on the same page can be quite difficult. When a student has a question, chances are that student is not the only student with that question. Quite possibly, every other student is thinking the same thing. So are you effectively answering what they want to know? How do you know? If you aren't using the RCAC method, you may be losing your [...]