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Testimony Questions

What is Testimony?

Testimony refers to factual recollections given by a witness under oath for the purpose of offering evidence in a trial or a disposition before trial. Usually, testimonies are given orally, but can also be given in writing but are both given under oath. A testimony is considered a person's opinion unless the person is an expert witness. During a trial, if a person who is giving a testimony answers questions from an attorney, it is called an examination. After the attorney has finished questioning the witness, the opposing attorney will ask a series of questions, this is called a cross-examination. Below are a few of the more commonly asked questions about testimony that have been answered by Experts.

I am in the middle of testimony and cannot consult with my lawyer. Why, and what can I do about this?

When a person is giving testimony, they have no legal rights to stop the trial and speak with their attorney. Some judges deny those involved in a trial to not mention anything about the trial during a recess. You may want to place a formal request to the judge, asking him/her to allow you to speak with your attorney. There is nothing to prevent you from this request if you fell that you are being treated unfairly. Usually, a judge would deny such a request, but you can try.

The reason a judge doesn't want anyone speaking about testimony is to ensure that equal fairness to both sides is present. It wouldn't be fair to the other party in the trial if you were granted permission to speak with your attorney while they were not allowed the same opportunity. There may be a chance that your judge will allow you a chance to speak with your attorney; you will just have to request it.

Do I need to respond to rebuttal testimony?

Usually, there isn't an allowance for filing a rebuttal testimony. However, it is possible for the other party to request this by filing a Motion for Leave. This is a request for the court to avoid the usual protocol for a just cause. The decision to do this is up to the court. It is possible for the court to allow the Motion or deny it.

When the opposing side files for a Motion for leave, you should file a Non-Movant's Response and ask the court for the Motion for Leave to be denied based on the fact that there is no cause that would exist for this motion and ask that the rebuttal is denied. There is a chance that the court will agree to deny the rebuttal.

Why would documents from a doctor not be enough evidence without the doctor being present in court?

There are rules that apply to the use of evidence. Before the court will allow the evidence that you want to present, you will have to prove to the court that the evidence is authentic. This means that if your doctor wrote the document, he/she will have to go on the stand and verify the document is authentic. If you fail to present the evidence in a proper manner, the court may not allow it.

Can testimony in a civil case be used to charge a person with a crime if the statue of limitations has passed for the crime?

After the statute of limitations has run, there cannot be a prosecution for the crime. Regardless of whether someone has testified that you have committed the crime or if you have admitted to the crime, once the statute of limitations has expired, prosecution for the crime is completely barred.

Testimony is a person's account of an event that is given under oath. A person's testimony should be carefully thought out before given to avoid any chance of perjury. The punishment for lying under oath can vary from court to court but usually a charge of contempt of court is given. Before giving testimony, you should consult with an Expert who can offer assistance and legal insights on your specific case and situation.
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