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Washington Lawyer: When Billy is Called to Testify

November 18, 2015

Preparing children to testify can be a delicate matter. While the child’s voice is important in a case, it’s also important not to cause further harm as well as gather the facts. The Washington Lawyer covered the subject in depth, speaking to the Director of Children’s Law Center’s Guardian ad Litem program Michael Fitzpatrick. Below is an excerpt from the story.

Although there are many challenges associated with children testifying, there are also ways to address these hurdles. Building a trusting relationship with the child is one way. This applies to therapists and other mental health professionals as well as lawyers. Children are more likely to accurately disclose information if they feel comfortable with the adults asking them questions.

“With kids you often get much better information about their experiences if you can guide them to a place where they feel comfortable talking spontaneously about their experiences, their desires, and their wishes rather than getting them to respond to specific questions,” Fitzpatrick says.

Click the link below to read the full article.