PPT - Arizona APCO / NENA

Presented by Katie Callan- Retired Training Coordinator
Pima County Sheriff’s Department
Courtroom Demeanor
Courtroom Demeanor
techniques for giving effective
Dispatcher/Call-taker/Report writer
testimony as a witness in court.
Preparation, appearance, manner,
and attitude are addressed.
 Identify the steps to be taken in
preparing to give courtroom
 Identify Courtroom tactics used
by Opposing Counsel
 Identify the principles of effective
presentation of testimony
 Identify the methods of Court
Professional Appearance and Demeanor
 Be punctual, if possible, plan ahead of time where you will park. If you
realize you are going to be late, notify the court and/or prosecutor as soon
as possible. Ask your attorney for a phone number ahead of time so you
can be prepared to telephone them if necessary.
 Plan to arrive early, giving the prosecuting attorney time to speak with
you prior to the beginning of the trial
Professional Appearance and Demeanor cont…
 Always dress appropriately, even on your days off. You represent
your department and professional attire is the standard guideline.
Check your department Rules and Regulations for required attire.
No alcohol
No gum
Clean-shaven or trimmed facial hair
No tight-fitting or revealing clothing
Professional Appearance and Demeanor cont…
• Clean and pressed clothes or uniform. Uniform shirts MUST be
tucked in. Men- Dress shirts should be tucked in and a tie and
jacket are appropriate. Ladies- Shirts not tucked in should have an
even hem.
• Dresses or skirt length should be no shorter than 2 inches above
the knee
• No inappropriate or distracting jewelry. Large bracelets, rings,
earrings, etc are distracting to the jury. Have nothing in your
pockets or on your person that “jingles” (e.g., coins, keys,
Professional Appearance and Demeanor cont…
• No athletic shoes, sandals, (except dress sandals), flip flops etc.
Shoes should be professional appearing.
• Avoid wearing items that may identify a personal association or
belief. Political buttons, club pins, college rings, religious jewelry,
may trigger some prejudices against you in the mind of a juror.
• Avoid wearing tinted or dark colored glasses in the courtroom.
People will not believe you if they cannot see your eyes
Professional Appearance and Demeanor cont…
 When placed under oath, stand
erect and speak clearly.
• Your demeanor on the
witness stand is an
important part of your
• When called to the stand,
do not look at the
prosecutor until you are
ready to testify
• Sit erect, leaning slightly
• Arms should rest
comfortably on the arms
of the chair or your legs
Professional Appearance and Demeanor cont…
• Do not cross your arms, your legs, clench the chair or exhibit other
nervous reactions (i.e., Cracking your knuckles and clenching and
unclenching your fists)
• Avoid being perceived by the jury as silly, cocky, argumentative,
bored or defensive
• The jury will evaluate you in part by the way you act in and around
the courtroom. Remember, someone is always watching
Professional Appearance and Demeanor cont…
• DO NOT speak to any of the
jury panel during the trial or
its recesses, to avoid the
appearance of impropriety.
On the other hand, when
testifying, speak to the jury
panel, they are your
• Be polite to the attorneys on
both sides of the case.
Professional Appearance and Demeanor cont…
• Show respect to all of the courtroom officials. Be particularly
attentive when the judge is speaking. Listen to what she/he is
saying and be prepared to respond. Always speak directly to the
• ALWAYS address the judge as “Your Honor”.
• If you must address the Court staff, use their respective titles,
(e.g., “Mr. Bailiff”,
• Electronic devices like cell phones, pagers, etc, must be turned off.
Preparing to give Courtroom Testimony
 Refresh Memory
• Preparation begins with
consistently writing
complete, factual,
narratives and/or reports
• Do not discuss the case
with anyone other than
the prosecuting
attorney, unless that
attorney has directed
you to do so
Preparing to give Courtroom Testimony
 Refresh Memory Cont…
•You should never testify
without first having reviewed
the report/narrative related to
the case
•Do not surprise the
prosecuting attorney. Make
sure you disclose any unusual
or omitted facts prior to
Effective Presentation of Testimony
 Defense attorneys have four
(4) main avenues of attack
• Memory- are you
recalling details of the
incident consistently with
the information you
wrote in the report or the
• Perception – No one
perceives an event with
100% accuracy
Effective Presentation of Testimony
• Narration- this is the ability to testify in a manner which
communicates information in a way that is understandable ( this
includes brevity and clarity)
• Honesty- Are you believable? This also includes objectivity and
emotional control
Effective Presentation of Testimony
 Honesty
• Tell the truth, the whole
truth and nothing but the
• NEVER LIE. Lying puts you
on the same level as
some criminals
• Consider your reputation
and the reputation of
your department
• There are criminal
penalties (perjury) and
employment penalties
(discipline/ termination )
for lying
• Never guess at the correct
answer. Do not hedge
unnecessarily. If you do
not know the answer, say
so. It is appropriate to say
that “you don’t know”, or
“do not remember”, if
that is the case. Never say
“I guess” or “I suppose”
Effective Presentation of Testimony
 Brevity
• Answer only the question that is asked. Do not volunteer
• Be direct and brief, but take the time to answer the question
• Relate facts, not conclusions or suppositions
• Do not begin to answer before the attorney is finished speaking
• Do not assume that you know where the attorney is going with
their line of questioning
• Do not be defensive or argue in a courtroom, or interview
Effective Presentation of Testimony
 Clarity
• Speak loudly and clearly
• Remember that you are
on the record. (Either
tape or court reporter)
• Do not talk over someone
• When referring to people
in your testimony, use
their names
• Do not nod or shake your
head as an answer.
Always answer verbally
• Give the prosecutor time
to object before you
answer. If an objection is
made, wait until the judge
rules before answering
• If you do not understand
a question, ask that it be
repeated or rephrased
• Avoid police jargon or
jargon relating to your job
Effective Presentation of Testimony
 Objectivity
• Answer all questions truthfully
• Your job is simply to report the facts
• Avoid any contact with the jury except when testifying
• Avoid careless comments to ANYONE
Effective Presentation of Testimony
 Emotional Control
• Be calm, courteous and
• Control your reactions to
the testimony of others
and to rulings by the
judge. This includes nonverbal communication
such as rolling your eyes,
or allowing anger or
frustration to be seen in
facial expressions
Effective Presentation of Testimony
• If the defense attorney makes you feel like he/she is attacking
your testimony, remain calm and professional. The
prosecuting attorney will take care of any objection, if the
question is out of line
Techniques for answering questions
 Listen to the question – Make sure you hear the entire question before
 Don’t answer until the meaning of the question is clear – If you do not
understand the question, ask to have it clarified. Do not try to clarify it
yourself by asking “Do you mean …..?”. Request the opposing counsel
clarify the question
 Don’t volunteer information – This is the most frequent violated
commandment for effective testimony. Do NOT try to be helpful. Do not
refer to anything not asked in the question. Make the other side work for
what they get
 Watch for double questions. Attorneys might put two questions into one.
Be prepared to answer each one individually. Don’t let this catch you off
guard. Don’t try to “mix” your answers
 Watch for hypothetical questions. Don’t let the opposing counsel drag you
into a “guessing game”. STICK TO THE FACTS
Techniques for answering questions
 Be cautious about “yes” or “no” questions. If your answer can not
be explained with yes or no, then state “I’ll have to explain my
 Pause before responding – This technique serves a dual purpose. It
allows the witness to understand the question and think
 If you don’t know, you don’t know. “I don’t know” is more credible
than a dishonest answer or guess
 If the answer is no, say “No.’ don’t equivocate
 Admit any mistakes- Do this as soon as possible to avoid the
possibility of the jury/judge questioning your entire testimony
 Stay within the limits of what you really know
Methods of court procedure
 Direct Examination- Questions
directed by whichever attorney
(Prosecuting/Defense) you are
testifying for. (e.g., if you are a
witness for the Prosecutor, they
would do the Direct Examination)
 Cross Examination- Questions
directed by the opposing
attorney. (e.g., If you are a
witness for the Prosecution,
these questions would come from
the defense attorney)
Methods of court procedure
 Re-Direct Examination- Questions again directed by “your” attorney
after Cross-Examination
 Re-Cross Examination – Questions directed by opposing attorney
after Re-direct Examination
Courtroom Tactics by Defense Attorneys
 Challenging the credibility
of the prosecutions witness.
Tactics defense counsel may
use in order to diminish
your credibility
Courtroom Tactics by Defense Attorneys
• Offensive – rapid fire
questions. – This is where
the pause before
answering may be most
helpful. Take your time
and think about the
question before
answering. Do not allow
them to lull you in to
rapid fire answers
• Condescending counsel – This
tactic may be used to see if an
emotional response can be
elicited. Do Not take the bait. Do
not let this type of questioning
“upset” you
• Friendly counsel – Do not believe
for one minute the opposing
counsel is your “friend”
Courtroom Tactics by Defense Attorneys
• Badgering – Good
technique to try to obtain
any emotional response
from a witness. If the
opposing counsel can get
you to “lose your cool” ,
“cry”, etc., this can
influence your credibility
with the jury/judge
O.J Simpson
Not guilty of Murder in criminal trial
Guilty of
wrongful death in civil trial.
Adam Lanza – Sandy Hook
Adam Lanza
Adam Lanza - Sandy hook
Guy next door or Convicted Murder??
Scott Peterson. Convicted of killing his wife and unborn
son in 2004
Girl next door – Jodi Arias
Convicted of Killing Boyfriend.
Jared Lee Loughner
Tucson Shooting. Gabrielle Giffords-
Sirhan Sirhan
Assasinated Robert Kennedy
Andrea Yates
Convicted of drowning her five children
Heidi Fleiss
Los Angeles madam. Convicted
 This Information is to be
used as a general guide. It
is not meant to take the
place of counsel advice or
counsel instructions.
Remember, you represent
the Agency you work for. Be
Professional. You never
know who will be watching
you and you can never remake a first impression

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