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“Keeping In-House Counsel Off the Stand (And Outside Counsel Out of the Doghouse),” DRI In-House Defense Quarterly

“In-house counsel attending trial can indeed find themselves called to the witness stand, and that scenario has played out in at least several product liability trials,” write Robert M. Hanlon, Jr. and H. Lockwood (Chip) Miller III, attorneys in Goldberg Segalla’s Product Liability Practice Group. “Once on the stand, plaintiffs’ tactics include using the witness as a human bulletin board to authenticate and then display and discuss the most damaging company documents.”

This article explores a number of steps that can be taken to prevent, or at least minimize, the chances of that happening. Because each case is unique, tailoring an effective strategy to the specific rules, procedures, and judges in a particular jurisdiction is of paramount concern. With that in mind, the article presents a number of useful general practice tips for both outside and in-house counsel to consider to mitigate the risk that in-house counsel will be compelled to testify at trial.

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