I posted about the importance of laying proper foundation last week. As I noted, this topic is the starting point for the trial practice class that I teach at Creighton University’s School of Law. By the way, the team this year did a wonderful job at the competition. The team of Nick Depetro, Angela Franz, Abbie Schurmann and Erica Carr advanced to the Quarterfinals. There are 25 teams invited to this competition so being among the top eight is a great accomplishment. It was a pleasure to be a part of this group because of the professional approach to learning that was present every day.
Back to Foundation.
Most every lawyer knows what facts they want to elicit from the witnesses they call in their case in chief. Often, those facts can be lost on jurors who are bored and uninterested when lawyers fumble through questioning marred by a lot of sustained objections. But knowing how to lay foundation can often lead the witness into giving the facts you are trying to elicit without unnecessary delay for sustained objections or the awkward pauses and looks between lawyer and witness who are obviously not communicating.
So, remember the who, what, when, why, where and how’s. It is best if you can get the witness to give these important facts without constant prompting. But when the witness, or you, doesn’t know what to do, remembering these can get you through (yes that rhymes).