- Short statement of the legal boundaries to stay within. A short outline of the legal/ethical points involved in telling a witness not to talk to the other side tells you of pitfalls to avoid in that discussion with the witness!
- Form to hand your witness. A good legal form saves you time. Don’t reinvent the wheel when someone else has already spent hours drafting the language you need. Plus, don’t waste time when you do the same thing with all your witnesses.
- A “Best Practice. Memorialize that your oral discussion with a witness, regarding talking to the other side, was within legal and ethical boundaries. Use a written handout to give the witness.
Here’s the legal problem, and how you can solve it.
Problem: in all states, ethically and legally a lawyer may not request a person to refrain from voluntarily giving relevant testimony or information to another party, unless:
- a. The person is the lawyer’s client in the matter; or
- b. The person is is a relative or employee of the lawyer or the lawyer’s client (and even then then are two pitfalls for the lawyer who does not know what she is doing).
Solution: you can use “information” instead of a “request” to accomplish the same objective, and stay out of trouble. That’s the point of our legal form #WIT5102 Telling witnesses not to talk to the other side available for just $17.90.