How Lawyers Use The Primacy Effect During Court Cases

If you are pleading innocent for a crime you are being charged with, your lawyer will do a number of things to help you have the best chance of winning your case. One of these things may involve utilizing the primacy effect during court. This is a common strategy used to disprove testimony, credibility, and evidence during a criminal case, and here are several things you should know about this.

What is the primacy effect?

The primacy effect is a strategy used often by lawyers on both sides of a court battle. The basis of this theory is trying to make the court view witnesses a certain way. It attempts to make the right first impressions come across in a person in a way that will cause the court to view a person either positively or negatively. First impressions are important in every aspect in life, and they can help or hinder one side of a court case.

If your attorney plans on using the primacy effect, it will be for two purposes:

  1. To make your witnesses appear likable, credible, and trustworthy.
  2. To make the witnesses on the opposing side seem like they are not believable, trustworthy, or credible.

If your attorney can achieve this, it could help your court case.

How will your attorney this strategy?

To build a case, it often takes disproving the opposing side's case, and this can begin by asking the first witness the right questions. When the opposing side calls their first witness, your lawyer will have a list of questions prepared to ask this person. Before the trial, your lawyer will have the names of all the witnesses and will investigate each one as he or she prepares the list of questions to ask.

For example, your lawyer might start off by asking the person the following questions:

  • What is your current job?
  • Have you ever appeared in court before? If so, why?
  • Is it true that you spent time in prison?

Your attorney is likely to ask mostly yes or no questions to the witness, because this forces them to answer the questions but does not give them the ability to explain their answers. If your attorney knows that the witness served time in jail and currently does not have a job, these are the perfect pieces of factual evidence to point out to the court to disprove the witness's credibility. If the judge and jurors form a negative view of a witness right away, it could help your criminal case.

If you are facing criminal charges and have not yet hired a lawyer, look for one today. A criminal lawyer like one from Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices can help you fight any charges you may have against you.