Continuing Legal Education

TELESEMINAR: Ethics of Working with Witnesses – A National Perspective

May 16, 2014
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
1.00 MCLE hours, including 1.00 Professional Responsibility MCLE credit hours (PMCLE credit subject to approval)


Working with witnesses to build out a client’s case is at the core of a successful litigation practice.  It is also a process riddled with ethical substantial issues. Foremost, how do you handle a client that you know isn’t telling the truth? Are you required to correct misstatements? Even if witnesses are telling the truth, can you confer with them during breaks in depositions and advise them to “not remember” unfavorable testimony? What happens if a witness inadvertently produces a privileged document? Also, what’s the dividing line between paying a witness for his or her time and paying for the testimony itself? This program will answer all of these questions and more as it provides you with a real-world guide to working with and preparing witnesses in litigation. 


  • Ethical issues in working with witnesses
  • How to handle witnesses that do not tell the truth
  • Conferring with witnesses during deposition breaks
  • Prompting a witness to “not remember” unfavorable testimony
  • Dealing with inadvertent production of privileged documents
  • Issues in paying witnesses for their time v. their testimony
  • Preparing witness affidavits on basis of client recitation of facts without interviewing witness


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Program Speaker:
John M. Barkett,
Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP, Florida


*Professional Responsibility MCLE credit subject to approval

John M. Barkett is a partner in the Miami office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP, where his litigation practice encompasses contract disputes, employment, antitrust, trademark and environmental and toxic tort litigation.  He also has a substantial practice as an arbitrator, mediator, facilitator and allocator in a variety of substantive contexts.  He is former co-chair of the Environmental Litigation Committee of the ABA’s Section of Litigation.  Mr. Barkett serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law.  He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Notre Dame University and his J.D. from Yale Law School.