"The thought of having to go to court or give evidence strikes fear into most people. It’s a very daunting and intimidating prospect. This is a common response which can be effectively addressed by preparing and supporting people during a stressful time in their lives.” Rebecca Abbott (Founder)
Abbott Witness Services is the first privately operated court familiarisation and support service of its kind in Australia.
Founder Rebecca Abbott was encouraged by Adelaide barrister Anne Barnett to return to her former role preparing and supporting people who were required to appear in court. Anne recognised the value of well prepared and supported witnesses in all jurisdictions not just criminal trials.
During the course of many years in this field Rebecca has seen first hand the benefits of familiarisation and preparation for clients in settling their nerves and feeling more positive about the experience.
Most people involved in legal and court proceedings are unfamiliar with the terminology, process and what is expected of them. This creates stress, anxiety and may impact negatively on their lives.
Whilst this is a natural response it is important for witnesses to be able to turn to someone, other than a solicitor or barrister to demystify the legal process and help them feel comfortable and ready for court.
While solicitors and counsel are well aware of the importance of preparing witnesses they may lack the time required to devote to the task especially in the intense lead up to a trial or hearing.
It is also natural for lawyers who frequently appear in court to expect that a witness (lay and expert) will be able to just turn up on the day and calmly give evidence about events which happened some time ago.
At court, the role of Abbott Witness Services is to work collaboratively with solicitors, Counsel and court staff to prepare and support witnesses to present their evidence in a calm and confident manner which ultimately assists the court.
Abbott Witness Services works with directly with people of all ages, their family, solicitors, barristers and community legal services.
Services available in all State and Commonwealth courts, tribunals and hearings.
Rebecca took on the task of looking after me through a very personal, disturbing and confronting experience. She did that and more.
Throughout I felt safe, supported and valued.
Your support really made a difference and made the whole experience less harrowing.
Just understanding the process. Familiarity was the biggest thing for me.
Rates charged are clearly reasonable and it is a relatively inexpensive resource. The benefits far outweigh the financial burden.
William Boucat SC - Len King 2017