Trial Preparation

AuthorMatthew J. O'Hara
Getting ready to try a business torts case is an exercise in planning
themes that are supported by the stories your witnesses and your docu-
ments will tell. Even though most cases settle, these are questions you
should be thinking about early in the case, and certainly no later than
when you begin to take and defend depositions. If you wait to think
about the themes of your case until you have an order setting the case
for trial in a few months, and about how the witnesses and exhibits t
with that theme, you may well have imposed limitations on your case,
both big and small, that could have been avoided by thinking about
trial preparation much earlier. Of course, no one can anticipate two or
three years in advance every issue that will come up at trial, but start-
ing to think about and plan for trial early on in the case and continuing
throughout the process will put you in the best position to be ready once
the trial begins. This chapter considers both early-case trial preparation
and the kind of meticulous trial planning required in the last two or
three months before trial.
Careful planning at the beginning of discovery will help ensure that you
have as much as possible of the facts and testimony you will need down
the road and that you can get your case smoothly into evidence. Holes in
the prosecution or defense of a case become hard to x when trial is near,
and logistical problems caused by lack of preparation can eat up valuable
Trial Preparation
Matthew J. O’Hara
Nelson_BizTorts_20140514_15-35 Confirmation Pass.indd 179 8/12/14 10:25 AM

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