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Tips on Appearing in the Colorado Courts

Judges and jurors start to get an impression of you the first time they see you. So dress up and dress conservatively. At a minimum, men should wear a shirt with a collar, trousers, and shoes. No tank tops, T-shirts, shorts, sandals, or earrings, nose rings, lip rings, or hats. Women should wear a dress, long skirt / pants with dressy top, conservative makeup and hair color. NO bare midriffs, shorts, short skirts, loud colors, large or excessive jewelry, hats, tongue rings, nose rings or lip rings.

Preparing to Testify

Be prepared. Before you go to court, think about the subject matter. Review all the notes and documents available. Talk to others who were present (BUT NEVER CONSPIRE TO LIE). Study maps or draw diagrams. Discuss your testimony with the lawyer who is calling you.

When you are called as a witness, proceed gracefully to the witness stand and face the judge or bailiff. You will be sworn in. Then you may be seated.

Always

Always address the judge as “Your Honor”, or “Judge”, or say “Yes, Sir”, or “No, Sir”, in response to his questions. <

Direct and Cross-Examination

Trials and hearings take place in an adversary or competitive system of justice. The worst mistake witnesses make is to “chicken out” because they are anxious, intimidated, or want to be thought of as nice people. TELL IT LIKE IT IS, WITHOUT HOLDING ANYTHING BACK.

The lawyer who calls you will ask you questions on direct examination. He is required to ask you OPEN ENDED questions. You have to carry the story to the judge or jury in response to who-what-when-where-why-how questions. Speak up!

You will then be cross-examined by the opposing lawyer. In criminal cases, this is the prosecutor. The cross-examiner will ask LEADING questions. Leading questions are yes or no questions. They are intended to bring out negative information and will cause distress. Answer these questions “yes” or “no”. Not “yes, but…”. You want to be one who comes across as the truth teller. If the question is too confining or misleading, answer the question in one or two sentences. For example:

Q: You told the officer you had been drinking, didn’t you?

A: Sir, I told the officer I had one beer after work.

After the first round of direct and cross-examination, there is a shorter round of re-direct and re-cross examination. When your lawyer gets a chance to ask you questions again, make sure you explain what you were unable to explain in the cross-examination.

Don’t “Open the Door”

If you volunteer that you have always led a law-abiding life or have never got drunk, smoked pot or done anything wrong before, you will open the door to a devastating cross-examination if it is not exactly true. Stick to the facts. There is usually no reason for you to talk about your character.

Client Reviews
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"I found myself in criminal trouble, that I wasn't guilty of and thanks to Mr. Steinberg's dedication and hard work, right before we we're looking at having to continue on to trial level Mr. Steinberg was able to use his vast knowledge of the law and his many respected years in the system to find a way to show my innocence. After a very unsure and somewhat difficult time for me, this very skilled and knowledgeable attorney was able to find the right path to take to reach a dismissal in my case. For that I can't tell you how much I appreciate his representation and his excellent understanding and helpful personality. He's a great man and an even better attorney but don't misunderstand him, he is an attorney not a therapist. Thanks H." Josh
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"Working with Michael Steinberg was a wonderful experience. Truly people need to know that he is a expert in what he does. His personality is compassionate, intellectual, and down to earth. I glean that Michael is fun to be around. In the time I worked with him, it was a pleasure to be around him. As for my case, the outcome was amazing and couldn’t be better. He has made my life more manageable because of the outcome of my case. I’ve worked with other lawyers in the Denver area. He is superior to them all. If you’re in need of a lawyer and you come across Mr. Steinberg look no further he’s going to be the one you need. Thank you again Michael." Renee Taylor
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"Being someone who had never been in trouble choosing the law office of Michael Steinberg was absolutely the most amazing decision I've made. The way Micheal handles these situations is absolutely amazing! He gives thorough explanation on what your options actually are and makes sure you understand them from top to bottom. He speaks to you like a human and not a dollar bill sign. I'm out in CO alone my entire family is out of state so not only was he my lawyer but he was my support system. He new how scared I was and he was kind and comforting but straight and to the point when he needed to be. I'm very grateful to him. And I thank him through and through. You would be making a huge mistake not to choose this law firm." Bryonda Copiskey