Providing Hearing Testimony: What to Expect

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If your committee would like to provide testimony at a public hearing, here are some guidelines to follow and what you can expect when you’re testifying:

In advance of the hearing:

  • Hearing testimony should be prepared in a written report. Testimony is treated like any other City Bar report and must go through the same process to be approved by the President.
  • Coordinate with our office to ensure you are scheduled to provide oral testimony. If you are not able to provide oral testimony, we can request that the written testimony be included in the hearing record.

The day of the hearing:

  • Depending on where you are testifying, you will need to bring 10-20 double-sided copies of your testimony with you.  If you are unable to make your own copies, please let us know with sufficient lead time and we can have copies made for you.
  • Most hearing locations are in government buildings. Please leave enough time to go through security and remember to bring a photo ID with you.
  • When you arrive at the hearing room you will be asked to sign in and drop off the copies of your testimony. Any specific instructions about the hearing structure or schedule should be given to you at this time.
  • If you have the time, arrive early so you can listen to other speakers.

During your testimony:

  • Identify yourself as a member of your committee and of the New York City Bar Association.
  • You will likely be limited to no more than 10 minutes for your testimony. This timing will vary on the number of speakers and the order in which you are
    testifying so be prepared to be flexible.
  • Because your time is limited, we recommend summarizing the major points of your written testimony rather than reading it verbatim. By the time you’re called to testify, you’ll have had a chance to hear other witnesses and you can and should modify your presentation as you see fit in order to avoid repetition.
  • You may be asked questions in response to your testimony. Please try to avoid speculation or speaking outside of the scope of your report.  If you do not know the answer to a question, offer to follow up with an answer after the hearing.  We can help get the answer to the right person.

After your testimony:

  • Let us know how it goes and if any follow up is needed. We appreciate any insights that may help inform our advocacy going forward.
  • We will post your testimony on our website and social media accounts after the hearing. If you are able to provide any pictures of you at the hearing, we will try to include those as well.  You and your committee should feel free to circulate the testimony to anyone you think might be interested.  This is a great way for us to promote your work and further advocate for your position.