Giving evidence in court
On Friday I sat behind counsel at the final hearing of a financial application within divorce proceedings. Very few such cases end in a contested court hearing – almost all cases settle by consent – see this post from January this year – and it was several years since I had attended such a hearing.
I was reminded of the importance of good, clear oral evidence. My client spoke calmly, answered the questions put to him, addressed his answers to the judge not to the barrister, didn’t speak too fast, was in command of the facts and the history of the case, and did not allow himself to be riled by some aggressive questions in cross-examination. An impressive performance. The main thing was that it helped the judge to understand his case, which is the object of the exercise.
I’m happy to say that my client achieved a highly satisfactory outcome. This was due largely to outstandingly good advocacy on the part of our barrister, but partly also to the quality of the client’s own oral evidence.