Setting witnesses at ease: one question to avoid

A former cop turned PI introduced himself to a witness during an interview. Case involved a contract dispute in the business session in Suffolk Superior Court. Within 10 second of the introduction, he said: “I’ve been doing this for a while so let’s start from the top: what is your Social Security Number?”

Asking someone a question like that does not make them feel warm and secure. A question like that makes people shut down. It suggests that the questioner is a clueless conversationalist or a creepy stalker. Not sure when the trend began for opening with such questions (“Nice to meet you. How big is your pancreas?&rdquoWinking. But stop it. Now.