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Tip Tuesday: Tips for Arbitration Witnesses

December 10, 2019

Witnesses can be key in winning or losing an arbitration. It is important for witnesses to remember the following tips:

  • First and foremost – always tell the truth; if you don’t remember something, say so
  • Dress neatly and professionally; your appearance will leave an impression on the arbitrator as to your truthfulness
  • Speak clearly and loud enough for everyone in the room to hear
  • Make sure you understand the question being asked and think about your answer thoroughly before answering; ask for clarification if you are unsure
  • Answer questions directly and succinctly, without volunteering information that was not asked; if further explanation is needed you will be asked a follow-up
  • If you give a wrong answer by mistake, speak up and correct your answer as soon as you can
  • If a question is asked about a contract provision, you may ask to see the provision before answering
  • The advice above applies whether under direct or cross-examination, however, cross-examination can be more confrontational; avoid becoming excited or angry even if the questioner seems to be “baiting” you
  • Lastly, always tell the truth – this CANNOT be overstated