In Anatomy of a Witness List, Hon. Michael L. Stern writes that “each witness should tell the next part of your story and move your case forward.”
While most cases are resolved short of a trial, it is important to view each as a potential trial situation. This starts early in the life of a case. Even at an initial client interview, witnesses are named, areas of factual and legal inquiry are outlined, and the necessity of retaining expert (witnesses) may be considered. Pretrial discovery broadens the scope of witness identification and eventually allows refinement of a trial witness list. This is a time-consuming and hugely expensive process. Failure to focus early on the truly important witnesses to call, and what each may contribute to winning, can be fatal to ultimate success.
From Advocate Magazine, June 2008.