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What is it like to be a Witness?

Being a witness in a Hearing can be nerve-wracking. Some people have an easier time than others, but pretty much everyone is nervous about it. If you are a party to the case, you will start out sitting at a table at the front of the courtroom with your lawyer, if you have one. Either the other party "calls" you as a witness, or you call yourself.


At that point, you will be put under Oath. Usually, you will then be asked to "take the stand," which just means sitting in the witness chair. Usually, the witness chair is in front of the courtroom next to the judge's bench. Some judges will let you sit where you are at the table instead of taking the stand, especially if you don't have a lawyer.


At this point, the court is ready to hear your Testimony. If the other party or that party's lawyer called you, they will start asking you questions. If you are acting as your own witness, your lawyer will question you, or you can begin talking about the issues the court is deciding.


TIP: In many hearings, the judge will ask you questions, especially if you don't have a lawyer. For many people, this is more comfortable than having the other party ask you questions. Don't count on it though! You never know ahead of time if this will happen or not.

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