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Re: META-DISCUSSION: How Participation on SEAINT Can Hurt You

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On Nov 10, 2004, at 3:02 PM, Bill Polhemus wrote:

I thought I'd mention this because I am aware of a few of us who deal with legal matters, and if this has never come up before, be advised that by my own example, it could.
Sometimes you get out-lawyered in a case like that, which has happened to me. It's not easy to to sit there and be polite and objective when someone is trying to discredit you, but it's important to remember that it's business, not personal. I've run into very few lawyers who are basically unpleasant nasty characters--when they seem to get nasty, they're trying to get you rattled, so that you'll look unsure of yourself. If you try giving opposing counsel some of his own medicine, you'll only get the jury thinking about how much they dislike you both. That's a fatal mistake, because you lose credibility and destroy any willingness by the jury to listen to what you have to say. If your client is sharp, he'll often jump in with an objection to let you catch your breath.

As far as your speaking to anyone about the case, if it was obvious or provable that you really were discussing the case, you made a big mistake. A really nasty lawyer could have moved to have you removed as an expert and your testimony disallowed if you'd said you didn't discuss the case when you actually did. That would have done you no good at all. If you'd couched the discussion as shop talk about something you already knew, you should have been able to point that out.

Beware our legal brethren. They're out to get you.
This is dead wrong. They're out to win the case. It's not personal--it's business.

Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)    | this distance" (last words of Gen.
...................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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