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jca's avatar

Have you ever had to testify in court?

Asked by jca (36043points) November 19th, 2014

Any kind of court – civil, criminal, family court. Where you are sworn in, cross examined and the whole nine yards.

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12 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

No, but I am currently on a path to having to do just that. We’ll see if the case actually makes it to court. I don’t know what is going to happen.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

just traffic court and yes was sworn in , but not cross examined, won part of it lost the other had to pay a fine and leave thats it.

zenvelo's avatar

Only in Family Law court for my divorce.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yep. Back in the 70’s in downtown Troy NY I witnessed a car zoom out of a side street and take off down one of the one way streets downtown. I thought he was street racing so I took off after him so we could play. He was crazy – running lights but I had more power. I caught up to him and rode his butt for about a block. He pulled over to let me go by. A minute later there were the police. They had been chasing him and I didn’t know it.

I was not charged with anything. In court when I stated “I saw him driving at a high rate of speed, running lights, ” and “he pulled over to let me go by.” people laughed.
Apparently he was involved in a serious robbery. I still do not know what is was. It could have been a bank, store, or people. It was serious enough that the police were there quickly and he was trying to escape.
(But he stopped to let me go by!)

trailsillustrated's avatar

Yes I have and here are my tips: when faced with a really intense prosecuter, you say, ” what does that mean?” Then you turn a face of puzzlement to your attorney. Another is, ” I don’t understand what that means”. It takes them so long to go back to the beginning and explain it to you it throws a cog in the works. Another good one is, ” I don’t recall.” Keep these in mind if you ever have to testify.

filmfann's avatar

A couple times. Neither time did I have to swear on the Bible.

JLeslie's avatar

I didn’t think of traffic court. I one time fought a ticket. I don’t remember being sworn in.

I have given a deposition in an attorney’s office. I was sworn in for that. Opposing council keeps trying to put words in your mouth. I was a chore to keep saying, “I wouldn’t state it that way,” and then put things in my own words. They word things to get you to agree with them. They pick questions you can say yes to, even though that only tells half the truth.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welllll… sort of, but not directly.

I was sued once in a rent dispute. The tenants of rent-subsidized housing had invited others to live with them to help cut expenses even further than the subsidy did. Naturally, that created more demand for services, parking, subsidized electricity and heat / hot water, etc. I was also invited and eventually moved in. When the facts finally became known to the apartment management (which finally happened after the original tenants decided to move out, and management, thinking the place was now empty, was surprised to find a bunch of nominal squatters living there – even though we were still making the rent payments on time). So they moved to evict us immediately. They came to the apartment one day – when I was the only one at home – and served the eviction notice. At the time they got my name (I was pretty young and na├»ve at the time – even more so than now). Months later, after I had moved back to live with my parents, I got a court summons with a request for summary judgment. The claim was for the full cost of breaking the lease early, the accumulation of minor wear-and-tear damage to the apartment, cleaning costs and other miscellany. It amounted to a claim of several thousand dollars in damages against just me, since mine was the only name they ever got as an illegal resident. And as you can deduce from the fact that I was living with my parents after quitting college early, I didn’t have that kind of cash – or the money to hire an attorney, either.

When you request a summary judgment as a plaintiff (which the apartment manager had done) you do it when you feel that the facts to support your own case are so voluminous, obvious and clear-cut to be an open-and-shut case in support of a decision in your favor, and for the full dollar amount of the claim, as long as the documentation is in place and there’s no good response from the defendant. Not knowing any better, I simply wrote a point-by-point factual response to each of the managers’ legal points, and mailed that to the Clerk of Courts where the summary judgment had been requested. The case was dropped a week or so later, and I’ve never heard another word about it.

The funny thing was that I agreed then – and still agree – that the apartment manager should have been reimbursed for most of those things (some of them were overkill, which also damaged their case, I think), only not solely from me, which was the point of most of my response. Apparently the court agreed.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, and I found it terrifying.

hearkat's avatar

Only at my divorce, and thankfully, my ex was a no-show. It was just the judge asking me questions about our son and day care and income, etc. but I had to sit in the box next to the bench, so it was nerve-wracking for me. I stood next to my son when he had to go to court as a minor for traffic violations, and the judge asked us questions (which was made easier because he recognized me from High School many years earlier).

prairierose's avatar

Yes, I have testified in 2 civil court cases and it was rather intimidating. I have also been part of the jury twice, civil court cases. So.. have seen both sides of the aisle. I found all to be hard on the nerves.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

I was called upon to be an expert witness in a fatal crash case.

It was determined by investigators that the BMW in question was traveling on residential streets at such great speed that the car’s lower motor mounts had been driven into the asphalt.

I told them how much clearance that particular model and trim level car should have from the road and that the investigators were correct in determining that fantastic forces would have been required to cause the mounts to even strike the pave’ at all.

I strove to explain the complicated details (ride height, suspension travel, etc) in the simplest terms possible as to keep the jury’s understanding, and more importantly, their focus. I’d like to think this was second nature for me as such is the essence of a service advisor’s job.

I do not know, nor care to know, what the decision in the case was.

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