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Courtroom Survival: The Officer's Guide to Better Testimony

NCJ Number
Devallis Rutledge
Date Published
188 pages
This book instructs police officers in how they can be most effective in testifying in court regarding cases in which they have been involved.
The first chapter identifies some of the problems the author encountered when he testified as a police officer, as well as some of the problems he observed with other officers after he became a prosecutor. The next chapter provides tips on how to make court testimony easier by working cases properly, followed by a chapter that contains a checklist of what an officer must do to prepare for court, along with examples of memory devices to help improve testimony. The next chapter presents "do's" and "don'ts" in testifying, followed by a chapter that discusses and provides examples of 31 general rules on how to testify, including standard responses; timing; the in-court identification; answering with brackets; what to do when objections are made; and the use of gestures, diagrams, and physical evidence. Other chapters focus on responses to "foundational" questioning, how to avoid the most troublesome objections, the handling of defense attorney cross-examination, qualifying as an expert, and the proper relationship between police officers and prosecutors.