Preparing a child to testify in court & preparing the court and opposing counsel when the witness is a child.
Although it is unusual for a child to testify in civil proceedings, this presentation will provide information and suggestions when you do have to put a child on the stand or cross examine a child. It will address both criminal and civil proceedings, primarily to indicate the differences in how each system deals with a child witness. We will also review Alaska’s "child friendly" rules for minimizing trauma to a child who does have to take the stand.
Because children do not often testify in court, some judges and attorneys are not fully familiar with Alaska’s special rules for child witnesses. Even if the attorney calling the child is experienced and comfortable with that process, it is still helpful to prepare the court and opposing counsel. Pre-trial rulings and agreements help insure that parties can elicit all necessary testimony without unduly traumatizing the child witness.