And, Mercer and Brend reveal “attorney tricks and witness traps”

BVWireIssue #92-2
May 12, 2010

Jeffrey Brend (Levin & Brend) and Chris Mercer (Mercer Capital) ping-ponged on how to defend your expert testimony in court at the AAML/AICPA conference in Las Vegas.  “Experts underestimate the importance of the deposition,” said Mercer. “It is at this stage that many cases settle.”  Brend disagreed, stating that he goes into a deposition believing it will go to trial. He asks appraisers very little at the deposition and tries to impeach them later in court.  Mercer shared advice in how to defend your report in a cross examination, such as:

  • Look, listen and hear
  • Wait and formulate
  • Answer the question in full sentences
  • Stop and wait for the next question
  • Do not anticipate where the lawyer is going
  • Be calm!

Brend suggested using “CLASS”: Calmly Listen; Answer Succinctly, and Shut up!  He also shared that a great way to learn how to feel comfortable testifying is to do Karaoke! You have the words in front of you; it’s a great way to start!” he said.

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