4.5 Questioning Witnesses/Clients

When questioning one of your witnesses/clients, try to frame your questions in a way that encourages detailed and meaningful responses. The goal is to ask open-ended questions that allow the witness/client to explain their side of the story in their own words. Here are some examples:

  • What did you do after you found the bedbugs in your rental unit?
  • Can you describe the conversation you had with your landlord about the broken sink?
  • How did you feel when your landlord illegally entered your rental unit?

Remember to listen closely to the answers being provided. If one of your witnesses/clients leaves out important information, try to ask a follow-up question that will remind them to provide the missing testimony before moving on to the next question.


Exclusion of Witnesses

If a witness is attending a hearing with you from the same location, they should leave the room until the arbitrator is ready for them. Similarly, if a witness has agreed to participate by phone, the arbitrator will decide when to add them to the conference call. The reason witnesses are excluded from most of the proceedings is to ensure that they are not influenced by other testimony.