Witness familiarization and how to combat the dark arts of cross examination

We had the pleasure to speak with Tom Nevin of Loquitur (https://loquitur.com.au/) a few weeks ago about the dark arts of what trial lawyers have to do, and how by providing training to witnesses, Loquitur helps trial lawyers achieve better results for their clients.

To give a little context to why we had this conversation – although Syntheia is primarily focused on distilling and applying legal knowledge from text data, we make an effort to think beyond words appearing on a page or a screen. Experts like Tom shine a light on what lawyers do in practice, and helps us identify where legal knowledge can be applied to improve outcomes for lawyers and their clients. Our unscripted conversation with Tom looked at the work Loquitur is doing by introducing their “witness familiarization” services in Australia.

This blog post is a triple-threat of intrigue:

  1. we explore witness familiarization and what it has to do with lawyers – more specifically, how does the service helps witnesses give evidence in a more effective manner, so that courts have better information
  2. we explore how an innovative service like Loquitur can be introduced to a historically conservative market
  3. we explore why technology is not always the answer to helping lawyers be better lawyers

A few of the topics that Tom and I cover in our conversation are:

  • what do litigation lawyers do
  • what is “witness familiarization”
  • why giving the best evidence to court is important for society
  • how to familiarize witnesses for court proceedings while staying safely inside strict legal ethics rules
  • what is involved in the training Loquitur and barristers give to witnesses in order to prepare them for cross-examination
  • what skills do lawyers need in order to teach witnesses to overcome the stresses of a real trial
  • how a service like Loquitur plans to introduce an innovative process into a conservative profession like law
  • what technologies can improve the services Loquitur offers
  • some practical advice to use simple and existing technologies, like video recording, to enhance how legal services are provided
  • a pontification of using sci-fi technology, like computer vision, to help witnesses recognize reactions

You can watch the video of our conversation here:

To find out more, take a look at this spotlight article QLS Proctor published about Loquitur in March 2021.

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