RELATIONSHIP TO WITNESSES
From MN Bench Book - Trial Procedures & Practices for Judges
- A. Recognize fear and anxiety of lay witness and try to dispel.
- B. Explains to witness about how process will work
- C. Direct witness to turn to jury and speak up if witness speaking softly
- D. Protect witness from harassment by over aggressive attorney on cross examination. Judge must be careful here if defense witness
- E. If a sequestration order has been requested and granted, the trial judge should consider instructing each witness at end of their testimony that they are not to discuss their testimony with anyone other than the attorney who called them until the end of the trial. If the judge issues a sequestration order to the attorneys but not to each witness, the issue becomes proving the witness knew of the sequestration so that consequences can be imposed if the judge determines that the order has been violated.
See/click on WITNESS SEQUESTRATION