Being a witness in a deposition or trial can be a terrifying process. No matter how much you prepare, when you have the entire room staring at you and reading all of your body language and listening intently to everything you say it is a nerve wrecking experience.
This often manifests itself in the witness misremembering facts, forgetting facts, saying different things at different times, and coming off as lying even if they are telling the truth.
The only way to prevent this from happening is by rehearsing real-world situations. The way I implement with my clients is by reviewing their case and by practicing questions they will receive and critique the way they answered the question. I never tell my clients what to say, but I ensure they are as ready for as many different scenarios as possible.
Now, I know what you are thinking, “You can’t coach the witness!” And that is very true, but preparing your client for their testimony is not coaching the witness, despite what television shows and movies may have you believe. You want to be able to have strong, clear, and precise answers to each question given to you and if you don’t practice, you cannot attain that level of responding.
However, merely practicing is not sufficient. There have been many times where a witness (either on my side or the oppositions) cracked under the pressure despite preparing diligently.
The key is to trust your attorney and let the chips lay where they may.