I found out earlier this week that I have to provide testimony to a State legislative committee as part of my role as member of a regulatory board. The committee is concerned that over-regulation and regulatory board inefficiency is causing shortages of health care professionals in the state. My job will be to disabuse them of this inaccurate assessment. That means I will have to provide lots of statistic on the number of license applicants, length of time between the receipt of the application and the issuance of a license, number of people denied a license (one in total my five years on the board), efficiencies we have introduced, and so on.

I plan to be plain spoken and professional, calm and patient. I will rely on the fellow board member who is doing this with me. I have testified in court on many occasions, but this will be slightly more nerve-racking. Besides, when I testify in court at home, I know al the judges and attorneys, and we all joke around and tease one another. I run into them in the grocery store. It is my understanding that the committee is comprised of very reasonable legislators, mostly Republicans, which is a comfort. If things go badly, I suppose I could find a way to casually mention that I am related to Lawrence Welk’s son in law. That might soften their hearts. I won’t mention my other relatives who were leading lights in the Non-Partisan League in the early part of the 20th century, North Dakota’s Socialist Party and the forerunner of the current State Democratic Party.

When have you had to change someone’s mind? Any advice for how I testify? What are your experiences providing testimony?

21 thoughts on “Testifying”

  1. Throw Jen Psaki bombs. “Where did you hear that? Who’s saying that?”
    I had to give testimony when my Workman’s Comp claim was denied by my employer and went to appeal. I’d hurt my back on the job just before Thanksgiving but didn’t report it until the following Monday. That the company didn’t accept my word on the matter bothers me to this day. At the hearing, I told my story and got down on hands and knees to demonstrate how the injury occurred. I won.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. At first, Renee, I read the title as “Terrifying” – am glad to correct myself.
    I think you’ve got your ducks in a row, as they say.

    I appealed a parking ticket, successfully.

    One thing about being this old, you see the repeated patterns in your experiences. I frequently get myself positioned between two adversaries, and end up trying to explain each person’s position to the other. It’s not so much of trying to completely sway either one, but trying to find a compromise. Doesn’t always happen.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My guess is that North Dakota is one of those places where if you are interested in actually having a say in what goes on in government, you end up having to have an R behind your name.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My only experience with “real” court was being called for jury duty. Spent several days in the basement of the Ramsey County Courthouse,, was never even called for an interview.

    Fortunately, my workload was minimal at the time, so it didn’t really matter.

    Unfortunately, I was not allowed to have my knitting (first day, they made me leave it at the security desk, didn’t bother trying after that- should have tried for some hand-quilting, but that didn’t occur to me).

    I learned long ago through family experience that there was no point in trying to change someone’s mind, and try to position myself so either I am the decision maker or I am prepared to just walk away.

    As with so many things parenting, the s&h got to have a very different experience and knows that I am willing to hear a good argument, if he has one.

    My mind can be changed. I consider that to be a life achievement.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I think I’ve shared this before. At the start of my nursing career I was included in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The case didn’t come to court until a year and a half after the incident. I was removed from it but not until after I had testified and been cross examined. The whole case was thrown out once the prosecution wrapped up their case. Our defense team was superb and had me well prepared. Even so, that experience was nerve-wracking, especially for a 22 year old small town girl. I never again wish to testify for either side.

    I’m not real good about changing someone’s mind unless I have a compelling reason to. I am quite good at avoiding argument/conflict – not necessarily a good thing.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. A comment on American culture: we seem as a nation to believe changing your mind is a character flaw. Isn’t a sign of growth? Maybe I am wrong. I have given up trying to change anyone’s mind. And am exhausted with being told how to live my life. The less I talk, the less I get badgered. So am I thus unwilling to change my mind?

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Morning. I was going to say I didn’t have a lot of experience with this, but MiG’s comment about S&H made me realize I do this DAILY with daughter. However I never change her mind and eventually I stop banging my head against the wall.
    That stubbornness will be handy someday.

    I realize more and more how often are not understanding the other persons POV. Their comments sound so ridiculous until we figure out their wording is different than ours and that’s causing the issue.
    Example: My mom being so insistent about needing the call button. And I’m saying she’s in the wheelchair; she doesn’t need it right now and they’ll get it to her once she’s in bed. The issue is she’s afraid she’s going to be left in the wheelchair, not realizing they’re getting ready to transfer and I wasn’t leaving until then. Just a miscommunication.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Like Bill, I too, did a double take at the notion of “very reasonable legislators, mostly Republicans.” Sounds like an oxymoron to me, especially nowadays.

    I’ve never testified in court, the coroner’s inquest that I’ve previously told you about, is probably the closest I’ve come to some such formal procedure.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The heading picture is impressive. I had to fix the carpet in an Indiana court room. It was installed mis matched and the central axis was right in where people might approach through swinging doors. It was a challenge but starting from the match at a central view, I stretched it to fit. Saved my employer thousands.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. After saying a final good bye to yet another long time friend this afternoon, my spirits needed a boost. This helped. Give it a listen, it might just lift yours as well:

    Liked by 2 people

  10. My experience has been that trying to get people to change their minds is almost always a losing battle. So I just speak my mind and hope that maybe someday it’ll make a difference.

    There was one really good time though when I was in high school and I desperately wanted to get my ears pierced. In arguing with my father, he commented that it was mutilating the body, like the Ubangi natives stretching out their necks. This was big with my dad – the Ubangi natives. Anyway in the height of frustration I blurted out that being overweight was also mutilating your body. (My father was overweight his whole life.). Looking back on it I’m surprise he didn’t strike me dead on the spot but the next day he came to me and he said I was right. I could get my ears pierced if I lost 20 pounds. You’ve never seen a teenage girl lose 20 pounds so fast.


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