Presentation Skills: A Quick Reference Guide for Advocates - Chapter 14 - AAA Handbook on Commercial Arbitration, Third Edition
Morley R. Gorsky
Morley R. Gorsky was an Arbitrator on the Ontario Ministry of Labor list of approved arbitrators, and a Panelist in arbitration seminars conducted by the Law Society of Upper Canada. Gorsky received a B.A. and LL.B. from the University of Manitoba and an LL.M. from New York University. He is the author of EVIDENCE AND PROCEDURE IN CANADIAN LABOUR ARBITRATION, Carswell, (1992), as well as law review articles and government studies.
PRESENTATION SKILLS: A QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE FOR ADVOCATES
Morley R. Gorsky
The purpose of this chapter is to present an arbitrator’s perspective of what goes on at hearings, to assist those who appear as advocates and presenters for the parties, and to suggest ways in which they can improve their advocacy skills.
The following points represent some matters of advocacy, which while they may appear to be self-evident, can, if they are ignored, have an adverse effect on an advocate’s presentation. I expect that many will regard a lot of my “ways” as not being applicable to them. I would only ask that you hear me with an open mind and remember the words of Chuck Barris, the host of the long-canceled “Gong Show:” “Denial is not just a river in Egypt.”
II.Matters of Advocacy
A. Tell Your Witness it’s OK to Tell the Truth
The best guide to good advocacy will be of little value if counsel is unwilling or unable to devote the necessary care and attention to the preparation of a case, including the proper preparation of witnesses. Counsel should tell witnesses they intend to call that they must tell the truth and that they must answer questions put to them.