Ethical Challenges in Preparing Witnesses and Working with Experts

Best Practices to Avoid Unethical Coaching of Lay and Expert Witnesses

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will prepare counsel to handle ethical issues that arise in preparing witnesses for trials and deposition. The panel will discuss preparing vs. coaching witnesses, whether to confer with witnesses during recess or to correct testimony inaccuracies, and how to handle unintentionally produced information.


When preparing witnesses or working with experts, attorneys walk a fine line between preparation and coaching. In fulfilling the duty to represent clients zealously, counsel are faced with a host of ethical issues when getting lay and expert witnesses ready for trial or depositions.

Ethical dilemmas arise in a variety of witness issues: deciding whether to confer with witnesses during a recess, to correct witness testimony errors, or to use mistakenly produced information — and making sure payment to experts is for time and not for their testimony.

Listen as our panel discusses ethical dilemmas that counsel regularly face in preparing witnesses for testifying and in working with experts, including pitfalls to avoid and ways to handle these difficult issues.



  1. Preparation versus coaching
  2. Working with an expert
  3. Ethical dilemmas
    1. Pay for expert opinion or testimony
    2. Clarify testimony inaccuracies
    3. Use of mistakenly produced information
    4. Confer with witness during recess


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are best practices when preparing a witness for testifying?
  • How should counsel ethically handle the dilemma of using mistakenly produced information?
  • What are the best practices for correcting errors in a witnesses testimony?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Teresa Rider Bult
Teresa Rider Bult

Constangy Brooks & Smith

She has successfully tried both jury and non-jury employment discrimination and wage claims, including class claims, at...  |  Read More

Lucia Coyoca
Lucia Coyoca

Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp

She has extensive jury and bench trial, arbitration, and mediation experience. Her practice focuses on entertainment...  |  Read More

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