Tuesday, September 20, 2016
From the Holland & Hart law firm blog:
There is quiet in the courtroom after the key witness on the stand is asked the critical question. As the jury, judge, and counsel wait for the answer, the witness pauses, looks up toward the ceiling, then looks back down, and answers.
That scenario invites two questions. One, why look up? The person asking you the question is at the lectern in front of you. The target for your answer is in the jury box to your side. Nothing – certainly not the answer – is on the ceiling. And two, what do the jurors make of that? Is it simply a thoughtful hesitation, a moment to collect your memories, or is it a sign of something worse?
Studies show that looking upward is not a form of “body language” suggesting untruthfulness. However, many jurors will assume the worst. For advice on how to deal with the problem, please click here.