Going to trial is a very scary thing for every defendant. One of the scariest things is hearing an expert witness make statements that can threaten your case. These witnesses can be especially worrisome when they exhibit highly narcissistic traits, because they tend to relate well with jurors at the beginning of their testimony. Fortunately, an experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to discredit these witnesses.
How Will Your Attorney Deal With a Narcissistic Witness?
Narcissistic witnesses can be very charming and sound very authoritative. This can be a huge problem if the jury tends is impressed by them. Fortunately, their narcissistic traits are a double-edged sword. The best attorneys know how to turn their narcissism against them. Here are some ways that your attorney can handle them during cross-examination.
Trick Them Into Overreaching
A narcissist can be highly intelligent, but they try to come across as being smarter than they actually are. They may make impulsive statements to impress their audience. Their statements may be partially incorrect, unsubstantiated speculation or totally inaccurate. Regardless of their expertise, they will lose most of their credibility when their misstatements are exposed.
An experienced lawyer will know how to appeal to their vanity. They will subtly tempt the witness to make poorly thought-out statements that can be used against them later on.
Pressure them to Show their Vanity
Even most narcissists realize that arrogance is not an attractive trait. They work hard to conceal it, but a savvy attorney can coax them into revealing it. There are several ways that they will get a narcissistic expert witness to reveal their traits during cross-examination:
- Question their credentials. A narcissistic witness will feel justified boasting about their education and accomplishments if asked to show their expertise. After all, it is their job to convince the jury to believe their testimony. Every witness needs to acknowledge their expertise on the stand. However, narcissists will elaborate in much more detail, which will reveal their vanity.
- Challenge their expertise. Narcissistic witnesses will be very defensive if their credentials are called into question. Your lawyer can reference studies from experts from other specialties, thereby insinuating that the witness isn’t qualified to speak on the topic with the same authority on the topic.
- Use flattery. Attorneys can also try to flatter the witness. Even flattery from opposing counsel is welcome to a narcissist. Your attorney will be able to get them to reveal their grandiosity.
There are a number of ways that great attorneys can get narcissistic witnesses to expose themselves. This can be a very effective way to dispute their testimony to help win your case.