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Ethics of Working with Witnesses (Live Replay from January 20, 2022)

Description

Preparing witnesses – whether fact witnesses or experts – for deposition or trial or conferring with them during breaks in testimony fraught with ethical issues.

Expert witnesses are paid for their time, not their testimony. Though they may be hired to support a client's view of the facts, there are limits to how experts can be coached. There are also real limits to how attorneys can prompt fact witnesses, for instance to "not remember" unfavorable facts. There are also significant ethical issues involving how to handle inadvertently produced privileged documents and when testimony goes in an unexpected adverse direction.

This program provides a practical guide to the ethical issues and traps of working with witnesses.

  • Paying witnesses for their time versus their testimony
  • Prompting a witness to "not remember" unfavorable testimony
  • Conferring with witnesses during deposition breaks and the limits of what you advise
  • Dishonest witnesses – what are your obligations to the court and your client?
  • How to handle the inadvertent production of privileged documents
  • Drafting witness affidavits without interviewing the witness

Contributors

  • Thomas E. Spahn

    Thomas E. Spahn is a partner in the McLean, Virginia office of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he has a broad complex commercial, business and securities litigation practice. He also has a substantial practice advising businesses on properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections. For more than 20 years he has lectured extensively on legal ethics and professionalism and has written "The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine: A Practitioner's Guide," a 750 page treatise published by the Virginia Law Foundation. Mr. Spahn has served as member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and as a member of the Virginia State Bar's Legal Ethics Committee. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University and his J.D. from Yale Law School

    Click here for more information about Thomas.

September 29, 2022
Thu 1:00 PM EDT

Duration 1H 0M

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