Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law

Witness Preparation in a Divorce Case with Jessica Brylo | Episode 110

June 03, 2022 Ryan Kalamaya & Amy Goscha
Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law
Witness Preparation in a Divorce Case with Jessica Brylo | Episode 110
Show Notes Transcript

First impressions are essential to success, especially in court and legal proceedings. Giving other parties and authorities a good perception of yourself in court is key to your credibility, which ultimately helps win a case. Today’s guest Jessica Brylo, J.D., M.A. is an expert in witness preparation and the owner of Trial Dynamics, a national trial consulting firm specializing in plaintiff cases.

In today’s episode we learn about Jessica’s professional background, her role in the legal team, the biases that occur during custody evaluations, her approach to reframing the narrative, why it is important to focus on relevant facts, simple tips to give a good impression, how she deals with emotional and angry clients, and much more. 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Why impressions of the judge and jury are so important in a divorce case.
  • Examples of some of the biases that can manifest during custody evaluations.
  • How reframing the perception of your situation can help avoid giving a bad impression.
  • Tips to guide the perception of yourself in court. 
  • How speaking negatively about the other parent can be bad for your case.
  • How impressions during your court appearance can affect your credibility.
  • How to properly prepare for negative accusations and how to overcome them.
  • The best way of using anger to get a favorable opinion. 
  • Listeners get an essential tip for appearing in court: be calm.
  • Common mistakes that people going through a divorce make.


About Jessica Brylo
 
Jessica Brylo, J.D., M.A. is the owner and lead litigation consultant at Trial Dynamics, a national trial consulting firm specializing in plaintiff’s cases. In the civil arena, she works with attorneys to reframe the story and themes of the case based on her knowledge of human decision-making. She is skilled in understanding human behavior and is one of the only litigation consultants in the nation to turn these talents into assisting with family law cases. She does witness preparation work for clients in divorce and custody battles with an emphasis on altering emotions that are contributing to problematic behaviors during testimony.

What is Divorce at Altitude? 

Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha provide tips and recommendations on issues related to divorce, separation, and co-parenting in Colorado. Ryan and Amy are the founding partners of an innovative and ambitious law firm, Kalamaya | Goscha, that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injury, and criminal defense in Colorado. 

To subscribe to Divorce at Altitude, click here and select your favorite podcast player. To subscribe to Kalamaya | Goscha's YouTube channel where many of the episodes will be posted as videos, click here. If you have additional questions or would like to speak to one of our attorneys, give us a call at 970-429-5784 or email us at info@kalamaya.law.

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DISCLAIMER: THE COMMENTARY AND OPINIONS ON THIS PODCAST IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IN YOUR STATE OR AREA TO OBTAIN LEGAL ADVICE ON ANY OF THESE ISSUES.

Ryan Kalamaya (4s):
I'm Ryan Kalamaya

Amy Goscha (6s):
And Amy, Goscha

Ryan Kalamaya (8s):
Welcome to Divorce at Altitude, a podcast on Colorado family law.

Amy Goscha (13s):
The force is not easy. It really sucks. Trust me. I know, besides being an experienced divorce attorney, I'm also a divorce client,

Ryan Kalamaya (21s):
Whether you are someone considering divorce or a fellow family law attorney listening for weekly tips and insight into topics related to divorce, toe parenting and separation in Colorado. Welcome back to another episode of Divorce at Altitude. This is Ryan Kalamaya this week. We're going to talk about witnesses and Witness Preparation in a divorce, and we are joined by an expert in Witness Preparation. And let me talk about who that is. So Jessica Brylo, she has both a master's and a J D, which is a Juris doctor, a lawyer, and she's the owner in weed in litigation consultant at trial dynamics, which is a national trial consulting firm, specializing in plaintiffs cases in the civil arena.

Ryan Kalamaya (1m 12s):
She works with attorneys to reframe the story and themes of the case based on her knowledge of human decision making. She is skilled in understanding human behavior and is one of the only litigation consultants in the nation to turn these talents into assisting with family law cases. In other words, she does a lot of work with other people in personal injury and civil cases in terms of consulting on juries and Witness Preparation, which there's a lot of people out there in that space. But Jessica really is one of a unique people that is an expert in family law cases for witnesses. And we'll talk about that, but She does witness preparation, work for clients in divorce and custody battles with an emphasis on altering emotions that are contributing to problematic behaviors during testimony.

Ryan Kalamaya (2m 2s):
So without further ado, Jessica, Welcome to Divorce at Altitude.

Jessica Brylo (2m 6s):
Thank you.

Ryan Kalamaya (2m 7s):
So let's talk about the way that people come across and why it matters in a divorce. Why should people care if they're in a divorce? Why should they care how they come across?

Jessica Brylo (2m 21s):
Yeah. So when you're in a divorce case, the person who's making the decision on what happens with your case is the judge and judges. We like to think maybe are superhuman, but in some ways maybe they are, but they're still humans. And so the way that they would process information is the same as anybody else. They're subject to the same biases that jurors and you and I would be, and they can't control their unconscious to any better degree than anybody on the street can. So when the judges is hearing your case or looking over documents or looking through what the child evaluator says about you, if you come across in a way that is unlikable or that is not believable, the judge is going to have that as part of the framework of how he or she views you.

Jessica Brylo (3m 6s):
And so if you are coming across as, you know, angry or bitter, and that relates to some of the claims in your case that you're alienating the other spouse or things like that. And you're claiming you're not doing those things the way that you present yourself is going to affect whether the judge believes you on that or not.

Ryan Kalamaya (3m 24s):
Well, and I think to even take it a step further, that even before you get to a judge, how you present to a parenting evaluator is also the kind of first step. And, you know, a parenting evaluator is also, you know, a human being. And so we've talked in previous episodes about biases. So can you talk a little bit about some of the biases and things that may come into play within custody evaluations?

Jessica Brylo (3m 53s):
Yeah. So, you know, when you have a child that's involved and there's a child evaluator, the judge will sometimes take what they say and sort of run with it because they're considered to be a neutral party and they often are neutral in the sense that they're not, you know, trying to be biased toward one person or another, but they're also humans. And so when they come in to evaluate you and your home and your children and what type of parent you are, you know, if they see a messy house, if they see that you are talking bad about your ex, if they see that, you know, the kids aren't well-dressed that there's not food in the fridge, all of those things will contribute to what they think of you as a parent, which will then go into the report. And then it's this, you know, written documents that is now a fact in the case that you would have to now overcome in front of the judge.

Jessica Brylo (4m 36s):
And so you want to, you know, catch those things before they become a problem and, you know, come across well to the evaluator and then in any hearings that happen as well.

Ryan Kalamaya (4m 47s):
And you mentioned the presentation and, and ultimately, I mean, first impressions matter, and we can talk about what those impressions and what the work that you do is, but, you know, my firm, we have kind of these standard tips that we send to our clients and in particular in parenting evaluations, but just in general, even if there's not a parenting evaluation, you know, an example would be, instead of saying, my child, you say we are our child, because if you say my child, it connotes ownership that you're excluding the other party. And that's just one of those little tips or little things changing someone's perspective.

Ryan Kalamaya (5m 28s):
That is just an example of how you say things and how you view things can ultimately matter. Can you think of any others that are commonly associated with divorce and witnesses?

Jessica Brylo (5m 42s):
You know, on that point, I'll get back to that in one second. But when you say, you know, not to say a certain thing, that's the tricky part, right? Because people say things because they feel a certain way. And so it's hard for them to remember to say our child or we do things together when that's not how they feel. That means they have to be always conscious of exactly the words that are coming out of their mouth. Whereas if you can get them to feel a different way, then it naturally comes out, right? So not that you have to get them to love their acts, so that's not necessarily going to happen, but the way that you can to the degree that you can reframe somebody in terms of how they think about their situation, then you don't have to do that work. Right. Because it just comes naturally to them.

Jessica Brylo (6m 22s):
Other examples, I think, you know, not necessarily words per se, but I think there's a lot of people who come across anxious, talk a lot, don't stay on topic. They want to over-explain themselves. And you know, that comes across and it seems like they're either hiding something because they're talking so much or they're talking in circles and what are they really getting at? Or, you know, this isn't a good parent because they're so anxious over things. And, you know, I think those are emotions that are understandable. They're just not helpful to winning your case.

Ryan Kalamaya (6m 54s):
Right? So as longtime listeners, now we have our hypothetical divorce client, Eric Wolf, and he's going through a divorce with Melanie. And let's just say, Jessica, that Eric, he is really angry. I mean, anger is a common emotion for people going through a divorce because let's just say that Melanie cheated on him. And he, you know, as frequently will in my world will say, I want the judge to hear about this affair and what it has done to our family. What's the downside to Eric going into a parenting evaluation or ultimately to the judge in telling his story and just really getting to the quote unquote truth.

Jessica Brylo (7m 36s):
Yeah. So part of the issue is that, you know, in the court of law, truth is relative, right? So there are truths, but there's, you know what I call in the jury world, juror proof, and then there's real proof. And so what matters is what the judge or the fact-finder thinks about your case, and sometimes the facts that you think are important. Aren't important to the actual decision that needs to be made. And so we have to focus on what is going to be helpful to you winning the case, not to necessarily telling the story that you want to tell. Those are two different things. And so, you know, the affair may not be relevant to deciding who gets the kids.

Jessica Brylo (8m 16s):
And so as hard as it is to leave that out, that's not something that is going to help you to bring up when you're talking about your divorce, you know, and bad mouthing. The other parent makes it seem like you're going to be doing that in front of the kids when you have your time with the children and that you're going to be alienating the kids from your spouse. So if, instead you go in and you say, listen, we've had our marital issues. That's between the two of us, but, you know, we are co-parents and we plan on being fair with the kids and not putting them in the middle. And this is for something for me to handle, not something for them to handle. That's a really confident, calm parent that the judge can get behind. So working through other issues like, you know, who's at fault for the divorce is something that has to be done outside of the courtroom sometimes because if it's not relevant, it's not helpful.

Ryan Kalamaya (9m 2s):
Right. And I think the, one of the consequences. So if Eric goes, takes the witness stand tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. There were promises there too. And then, you know, goes and launches into this diatribe on, you know, the affair and Melanie and everything. If the case is really centered on, for example, like financial issues about the value of a business, or there might be some other issue related to parenting, is it fair to say that the judge is viewing Erik through this lens? And because he is just blabbering on about the anger that he has on the affair that, that spills over to the credibility that Eric May or may not have when it comes to the value of the business or what some issue would be related to parenting.

Jessica Brylo (9m 55s):
Right? Yeah. So people don't digest information in boxes, you know, so you can't say, well, he's angry about this issue and we're going to leave it on that issue that becomes who you are. And so that's going to spill over into deciding any other issue that comes up.

Ryan Kalamaya (10m 9s):
Okay. So Eric, what does that look like? Where I call you up Jessica, as I have before and said, Hey, I've got a client that is really angry. I'm not a mental health professional, but I deal with it. You know, I'm a counselor, I'm a counselor at laws, you know, as a graduate of law school. So how's that process work with you, Jessica? Like what are the things that you do to help Eric come across? Because ultimately he's going to say, I understand that I want the most money, or I want the most parenting that I can out of the divorce. So we're the things that he's going to do to present better at trial what's Witness Preparation. What does that look like?

Jessica Brylo (10m 48s):
Yeah. So, you know, first we sort of talk about what the goal is. And so the goal is not the same as normal witness prep. I'm not trying to focus on where you should look and who you should talk to the judge. And when you shouldn't and what words you should or shouldn't say necessarily, although toward the end, we may do some of that. But my focus is on changing the internal, emotional state that Eric would be feeling. So by changing how he feels about the circumstances, you know, there's facts in the case, and I can't change the facts. Nobody can change what the facts are, but what we can change as the story that you tell yourself about the facts and that story affects how you come across, when you're testifying, or when you're in front of a child evaluator or any of those things. And so if we can change and alter the story that will change your internal, emotional state, which will then change how you come across when you testify.

Jessica Brylo (11m 34s):
So where we started, it seems like, you know what, we're just having chit-chat, we I'll take an hour or two and ask about, you know, the history of the marriage. If we have time go back further into childhood, you know, where did you learn your value about money? What does money mean to you? What is your parents' relationship like and talk sort of through that I'm not a mental health counselor either. Although I, my father was one, so I guess I grew up being analyzed, but I don't have any degrees in doing that. So my purpose is not to create long-term changes for somebody. They need somebody else to do that, but I'm just searching for the points of contention, like the parts that are making them feel that way is what I'm looking for. You know, if it's somebody who has never been by themselves, they went from being, you know, in their parent's house to then being married, to having kids.

Jessica Brylo (12m 19s):
And now all of a sudden that falls apart, that triggers me to think, okay, maybe some of this anxiety or anger is over the fact that you don't really know how to be, you know, an independent person at this point. And so by going through the story, I started to find where those emotional triggers are. And then we talked through the emotional triggers a little bit. And as you know, usually when you bring it up, people are sort of shocked a little bit like, oh, you're right. You know, that, that does make sense. And so by finding what those triggers are, and then being able to reframe them in a way that makes it so that they can sort of understand that this isn't necessarily the same way that they're thinking about it. That there's another possibility of how I can think about this information. For example, almost everybody in a lawsuit, especially in a family divorce lawsuit, feels like I shouldn't be in a lawsuit.

Jessica Brylo (13m 1s):
This isn't fair to me. I shouldn't have to go through this. This is not what I signed up for. And while all that is, you know, fair emotions to have, you know, you can think about it a different way. I had one client from a different country like Somalia. And he said, thank God I get to be in a lawsuit because there isn't this option in my country. You know, it's an eye for an eye. And, you know, if you cheat on your wife, then they're going to come and do something else to you. That's the equivalent. And so there's no, you know, there's no sorting it out in any civilized manner. And this is great. And so when you think about it, that way, it's like, oh, you're right. I mean, I guess the alternative is a lot worse. Like it's great that we do have this system to work it out and that can sort of take the edge off. So now you don't feel so uptight and angry about being in the lawsuit.

Jessica Brylo (13m 44s):
So we can do the same thing with the facts of the case and your circumstances and story of the case and reframe those things one at a time. And that will sort of take away some of that anxiety, that anger, those emotional trigger points.

Ryan Kalamaya (13m 57s):
Right? So Eric, in that circumstance, he might be anxious about the legal process and just testify. I mean, and I see that all the time where if it's a deposition or a trial or a parenting evaluation, just the uncertainty, they've never been through it before that anxiety might cause them to say or do things and you help them in that circumstance, which is different than like being angry, but they're just really getting into what are the emotional triggers for them that is causing a concern,

Jessica Brylo (14m 30s):
Right? Yeah. I mean, I had one client who, you know, was coming across as if she was alienating and she was over protective of her daughter didn't want, when she was at the father's house, didn't want them to hire a babysitter for her, if they were going out and you know, it comes across as well. Everybody hires a sitter. I mean, why won't you let him hire somebody? And as we talked through her story, she sort of glazed past the time when she went in with a friend into the woods. And what happened in the woods was some older man was there and ended up assaulting both of them sexually. And so she has this fear now of strangers and she's, so we talked about it and she cried through it. And I said, you're going to have to tell this story because it makes sense now why you don't want your daughter left.

Jessica Brylo (15m 11s):
So this isn't you just trying to make it hard on your ex. And she said, yeah, I don't mind if it's somebody that I know or that I can talk to a few times and get to know them, but I just can't leave her with somebody I've never talked to or met and have no trust. And all of a sudden that sounds reasonable, but you have to get to the story in order to sparse that out

Ryan Kalamaya (15m 29s):
And yeah, figuring out what parts of the backstory are relevant. And in other parts where it's like, this is not going to be helpful. And I think that is a real art because frequently people will tell me things and I'll say, listen, I understand that that's important to you, but from a legal perspective, it's not. But on the flip side, I've also had clients where they tell me something for the first time. And it's like either after the fact or I'm like, why didn't you tell me that beforehand, like Todd is critical. And I think people it's easy for us or for divorce lawyers to be, you know, just we're in the system.

Ryan Kalamaya (16m 10s):
We know what is and is not important. Or at least we think we do, but these people are going through the legal process and their divorce. And it's often the first and only experience that they have with the legal system. So they don't know what is, or is not relevant. That's what they're looking for. And that's something that I think you work with and you know, you and I have worked on that in the past and the least, you know, I, there was an example where you got to my client's childhood anxiety over money in the, that was a real trigger. And so you developed kind of a series of truths as you described them. And so can you tell our listeners, like what's a truth for someone or the safety kind of islands as it were in testimony?

Jessica Brylo (16m 57s):
Yeah. So one of the things that people get really anxious over is the fact that there's always something they're going to come after you about, right? So there's always bad facts in your case. And the anxiety is, you know, how do I explain this? What do I say about it? How am I supposed to say it and still win my case? And so we talk about what those things are, what are the worst facts that they're going to come after you with? And let's make a list of them and then tell me why those aren't true, what makes it not true? And so we have to just create a list of maybe five to seven maximum that encompass the whole case. That way, anytime they come after you, for something you can revert back to that list. And so now the testimony, because it's very clear, it's like, you know, they can't get you off topic. They can't lure you into something.

Jessica Brylo (17m 39s):
The answer is one of these five to seven things, you know, let's say you did drugs in the past and they're using that against you. You can say, listen, I did that. It's a time of my life. I'm not proud of, but I've done away with that. And I've been clean for X number of years, and I'm now a great parent. And so, you know, just being able to own those things up front, because you know what the truth about them is and how to explain it, then it cuts off whatever they can come at you with.

Ryan Kalamaya (18m 4s):
And I think at least from my observation, it's helpful for a client that they don't know. They know something's going to come up on that particular issue and we can prepare. I mean, everyone, you know, all my clients are like, what are they going to ask in a deposition or trial? And, you know, it's one of those things where we can predict, and we know that there's going to be something like you're right, that five to seven, you know, things, but then however it comes up, it could be, you know, at a side angle or directly on, then they have an answer that they have prepared in advance and they know is going to work and that they can, whatever issue on drugs, they could come back to that answer no matter how anxious or nervous or whatever it is, they don't know exactly how to answer it, but they can revert back to that, which is responsive.

Ryan Kalamaya (18m 57s):
And it's a safe island for them.

Jessica Brylo (18m 60s):
Exactly. Yep. And you see people, they just sort of exhale when they have that, because it just takes a lot of the stress and uncertainty out of the picture for them.

Ryan Kalamaya (19m 8s):
Okay. So that's working directly with witnesses directly, the parties and Jessica, how does that work for you? So do you work directly with the client, the person going through the divorce and what does that look like?

Jessica Brylo (19m 22s):
Yeah. I worked directly with them. I usually have the attorneys involved as well in part just for confidentiality and privilege purposes, but also because I think it's helpful for the attorney to see what comes out of it. So, you know, sometimes facts are revealed that you didn't know, and I don't know what you do or don't know, so I don't know what to relay back, you know? And so when the attorney is in on the call, it helps them to prepare on their end as well. And then at some point we get into sort of a mock cross exam and I definitely need the attorney involved for that. And so that's when we sort of figured out those truths and work on those and how you answer the questions. And so usually it's a team effort.

Ryan Kalamaya (19m 57s):
Okay. So let's talk about more about that team and the divorce attorney. And like, I know just from experience, you also will craft and work with a divorce attorney about how their approach may or may not change in a particular case based on the facts and issues involved.

Jessica Brylo (20m 16s):
Yeah. I mean, In the civil arena, you know, I do a lot of work, mostly all with the attorneys. And so we can work on how to frame the case just in general, you know, what do you want to focus on? What things should come up first? How should this information be presented? And so we can work on that as well. And the attorney is part of this whole, you know, all of court is a play, right? And so the attorney is one of those players and they have a role in it too. And so for example, if you have a client on the stand and they're getting attacked by the opposing counsel, you know, your inclination is to jump in and save that client that may not do the good that you think it's going to do because you know, human nature is to try to balance scales and make things even.

Jessica Brylo (20m 56s):
And so if somebody is being attacked on the street, but there's other people who are already assisting, you can kind of step back and say, that's taken care of, if nobody is a stepping up, then you feel more of a pull to come in and do something about it. So it's the same in court. If your client is being attacked and you leave it alone, then the judge is inclination to say that attorney is being really unfair to him or to her. And so I now have to step in and make that fair and the way they do that is through their rulings. And so you want the judge to feel like they have to step in to save you, but if your attorney steps in, or if the attorney decides to step in on their own, then you're sort of ruining the case because you've taken care of the bully and you fixed it. So you don't really want to be in that role.

Ryan Kalamaya (21m 36s):
Yeah. I remember going to a trial advocacy program for divorce lawyers, and there was a divorce lawyer from Monterey, California. And he said his observation, which I think is, was fantastic, was that there's only so much anger that can exist in a courtroom. And that you want that anger to reside with the judge where if you stand up and you're angry and saying, my client has been attacked or unjustly accused or whatever the case may be, that then the judge then kind of has to balance that out. Whereas if you're very calm and you know, he may get a, the judge you want, ultimately the judge to be angry where he feels like the other side or the other party is doing something wrong.

Ryan Kalamaya (22m 25s):
And he, or she feels obligated to right that wrong that if the attorney does it for their client, then it kind of takes the wind out of the sails when it comes to that judicial opinion, which is if you're at that point, that's what you want. You're looking for a favorable opinion,

Jessica Brylo (22m 44s):
Right? Yeah. And anger is such a powerful emotion. That's what motivates people. So, you know, you want the, to be angry on your behalf, which also means you can't be the attorney who gets up and batters the other side. Right. Cause then you're creating that for them. So that's a gift to them. If you go after them, you want to be sort of the neutral purveyor of information and you want your client to do the same thing, to just sit calmly. If they're being attacked and not respond to that, don't escalate with it because every time, if you can think in your head, every time they attack me, it's good for me. Then it makes it easier to sort of sit back and just be very, very calm and neutral.

Ryan Kalamaya (23m 16s):
Well, and I know from experience, I mean, I tend to get emotional, you know, people like the passion, my clients, I think appreciate me caring. Sometimes I care probably too much, you know, to the detriment of kind of my personal mental health, but on my witness outlines, I put at the top of every, you know, be calm because that's, my tendency is to get, you know, too emotional. So it's a reminder to be calm and it's something internally with them. Our firm we talk about or think about is the optics. So if there is this, you know, Eric Wolf, hyper aggressive type, a guy going through a divorce, is it better to have a female attorney who is a little bit more reserved because you know, Georgina melamine in our firm or Amy, we all have our different styles.

Ryan Kalamaya (24m 5s):
And so we think about how is this going to come across? Or there might be a witness, an expert witness that is more appropriate for me to cross examine or to really take the lead on. And, you know, I think I'd be curious what your thoughts are on whether or not those optics matter, or if it's just, you know, like something that lawyers do. And they think that they're really making a difference in the case.

Jessica Brylo (24m 30s):
No, I think it does matter. I think, you know, all of that's unconscious stuff that the judge isn't going to look at it and think in his head, this is what matters. It's just how it comes across on an unconscious level. So I think it's case determinant. No, but I think that it does help when you can sort of balance that out. You know, you might be better fit for a client who is a little bit Meeker and not quite as good at standing up for themselves. Not that you had been stand up for them, but it would sort of balance their personality with yours, you know, to give somebody strong behind them, but you know, a calm strength behind them. And so I think, you know, that makes a difference.

Ryan Kalamaya (25m 4s):
I appreciate that insight. And for, you know, people going through divorce, what are they, you know, they've kind of most common pitfalls that you see in divorce parties going through a divorce in terms of emotional and how they present at trial.

Jessica Brylo (25m 20s):
I think I see a lot of just anger wanting to get back at the other party and just tell too much information that they just want to get the anger out and it's not helpful. They think it is because they think they're telling their story, but the way in which they do it and the circumstances of the court case just don't make it helpful. Unfortunately it's like they need that outlet in court. Isn't the outlet for it.

Ryan Kalamaya (25m 44s):
Well, I think it's helpful for divorce lawyers to also, you know, consider using someone like you, Jessica, because, you know, I mean, within our firm, oftentimes we get in the weeds and I was on a call yesterday with the judge and, and an expert witness. Cause we were talking about presentation that we're about to give and the judge made the observation and he's like, you know, you divorced the layers you guys tend to get in the weeds and the experts because we have been in this case oftentimes for a year. And so what we think is important and I think having someone like you come in here, the presentation and think about the narrative and the story. Cause we think of stories in generally in my experience, whatever side tells the most clear, consistent story generally wins.

Ryan Kalamaya (26m 31s):
And so to bounce that storyline off of you and then have you work with the lawyer as well as the witness to make sure that the testimony, those truths, everything is going towards that narrative and to really make sure that that narrative is compelling and is a winner,

Jessica Brylo (26m 52s):
Right? Yeah. And you know, in the civil arena it's even worse, right? Because the attorneys have been working on the case for sometimes five years, I mean, 10 years. And so they can't see, you know, past their nose in terms of what the case is actually about. And it's understandable. You can't play all roles. You just, you can't, but you do need somebody to come in. Who's an outsider who can say you're completely off track. I mean, here's where you really need to focus. This is the main part of the case. This is the most compelling part of the case. These other things need to take a back seat or here's how we explain this as opposed to the way that you're trying to, you know, run circles around it. It can be really helpful

Ryan Kalamaya (27m 27s):
And we'll have links to your info in the show notes. But for those that are interested in finding out more Jessica, where's the best place for them to reach out and get in touch with you.

Jessica Brylo (27m 38s):
Yeah. I think a couple of ways. One is my email, which is Jessica at trial T R I a L dynamics, D Y N a M I C s.net. That's my email. My website is trial dynamics.net. Then you can look on there. And a lot of that is geared toward the civil world, but there is a thing about family law on there. And I also have a free principle handout for attorneys to give to their clients or for clients to take before a child evaluation, to sort of just a checklist to prepare. So you're welcome to email me for a copy of that as well.

Ryan Kalamaya (28m 11s):
Well, I know from experience, they, you know, for a particular kind of case, it really helps when either when, if kids are involved or if there's, you know, if we're talking about a fair amount of money that, you know, you want to have every advantage that is available to you. And so one of those things certainly is the Witness Preparation and making sure that you've done everything in such a critical chapter of someone's life to make sure that all the tools are used in, you know, the more arrows that a trial lawyer has in their, their quiver, the better they are to really achieve a result that is beneficial to their client because it's, you know, often the most important aspect of their life at that time.

Jessica Brylo (28m 56s):
Yeah. I mean, especially when kids are involved, it's something that you really can't afford to mess up. And so, you know, my work isn't, you know, longterm, tons of hours kind of work, you know, usually it's a few hours here and there and it can really make a difference.

Ryan Kalamaya (29m 9s):
Absolutely. And for you, I think the key is that you can temporarily help someone shift. I think that, you know, the longer term aspect is something that is for like therapy and counseling, but you know, oftentimes people come to me where they'll two years out, three years out, they'll say, Ryan, thank you so much for being there. I was in a really bad state. And so for you, it's recognizing that then getting them back to a better place temporarily so that they can know move on with their life. But really the important aspect is how they present at a given hearing or during an evaluation or a deposition.

Jessica Brylo (29m 51s):
Right? Yeah. And some of the things that we do together may stick and I would love, you know, if that happens to help people in the longterm, but you know, I don't mark it, that, that that's going to happen. You know what my goal is to help you sustain whatever we talk about for, you know, a couple of days before, whatever comes up, just to keep it in your mindset, to help you get over this part of your life. And then, you know, there are therapists and divorce coaches who can take it further and really get your life back. But I want to make sure that you don't lose your case.

Ryan Kalamaya (30m 19s):
Well, Jessica, I appreciate the time look forward to working with you in the future. And for those listening are interested, whether they be divorced lawyers or people going through divorce, and they're concerned about just their presentation or willing to give themselves the best opportunity at trial, feel free to reach out to Jessica. And thanks again for listening to Divorce at Altitude.

Jessica Brylo (30m 41s):
Thanks, Ryan. I appreciate it,

Ryan Kalamaya (30m 44s):
Everyone. This is Ryan again. Thank you for joining us on Divorce at Altitude. If you found our tips, insight or discussion, helpful, please tell a friend about this podcast for show notes, additional resources or links mentioned on today's episode. Visit Divorce at Altitude dot com. Follow us on apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen in. Many of our episodes are also posted on YouTube. You can also find Amy and me at Kalamaya dot LA or 9 7 8 3 1 5 2 3 6 5 that's K a L a M a Y a.law.