When your client answers opposing council’s questions, it’s a lot like a baseball player going to bat. The batter has to read the pitch and detect if the pitcher is throwing a curveball, fastball, splitter, or change up. An attorney can trip up your client much like a pitcher throwing balls that come at the batter with different spins and speeds.
The more practiced the batter is at reading how the ball is spinning, the more likely they’ll know if they should hit it or let it go. It’s the “detect and reject” technique I call the Legal Flyswatter.
Your client can learn this skill with a little bit of training – training I can give them in how to detect if they’re being asked loaded questions. We teach them through practice, drilling and repetition what to say when they are asked and of the dirty dozen questions;
Here are The Dirty Dozen you might like to share with your client:
- Compound questions. “I’d like you to tell me the most important reason for wearing seat belts and why some people still don’t do that?”
- Asking you to be the expert you are not. “How long does it take for a check once deposited to clear and be put into a checking account?”
- Embedded assumptions. “You drove here quickly, so can we agree there was little or no traffic?”
- Hypothetical. “Pretend just for our purposes you noticed your co-worker didn’t report his taxes correctly would you notify authorities.”
- Leading Comparisons.“Do children lie more than adults?”
- Estimations. “Although you could see the car were you about as far away as a football field?”
- Wrong word or bad word. “So you are here to convince the jury that you did everything right, correct?”
- Questions including absolutes. “Do you always phone five minutes before you arrive?”
- Asking for Speculation. “What would the supervisor think of six mistakes on one order?”
- Questions that are too long or confusing. “Isn’t it true you were not only the person who drove the car, you were also the one to buy the tickets and make the hotel reservations but were late doing all three of these tasks?”
- Generalizations.“People deserve a second chance, true?”
- Similes and Metaphors. “Is omitting information like forgetting to study for a test?”
You want your client to be able to detect those questions right off the bat so they can answer with THEIR truth – not in a way where they’re implicitly affirming what the examining attorney is asking them. We teach them to answer in such a way where the attorney is forced to ask the question your client WANTS to answer, not the question the attorney wants to ASK.
The next time your client is faced with a curveball in court or deposition, prepare them with powerful techniques that will help them immediately detect and deflect and thereby avoid the 12 loaded questions of opposing council … “The Dirty Dozen.”