Testifying Before Congress​

A Practical Guide to Preparing and Delivering Testimony before Congress and Congressional Hearings for Agencies, Associations, Corporations, Military, NGOs, and State and Local Officials

By William N. Laforge

Book Summary

Testifying Before Congress is the practical guide to assist witnesses and their organizations prepare and deliver Congressional testimony. For use by anyone or any organization called to testify before a committee of Congress, and for those who are providing assistance in preparing the testimony and the witness.

As a practical guide to assist witnesses and their organizations in preparing and delivering Congressional testimony, Testifying Before Congress is designed for use by anyone or any organization called upon to testify before a committee of the United States Congress, and for those who are providing assistance in preparing the testimony and the witness. This book can serve as a guide through the unique maze of the Congressional hearings process for virtually any witness or organization, including especially federal departments and agencies, the federal judiciary, members and staff of the legislative branch itself, associations, corporations, the military service branches, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private and voluntary organizations (PVOs), public interest entities, state and local governmental officials and institutions, and individuals who are chosen to appear as a witness before Congress for any reason on any topic.

Similarly, in the world of academics and scholarship, this reference work can be helpful to scholars and writers in think-tanks and research organizations, as well as to faculty, researchers and students engaged in the study of law, business, government, politics, political science and the legislative processes of government.

This book can also serve as a reliable reference source and helpful tool for law, lobbying, government relations, accounting, and other public policy-related service industry professionals who are involved with the Congressional hearings process on behalf of their clients’, their customers’ and their own public policy, legislative and government relations interests.

It is the purpose and intention of Testifying Before Congress to help demystify the Congressional hearings process, and to assist witnesses and their organizations to be well-prepared when appearing before a Congressional committee to testify.

This book is organized in such a way that it can be utilized as a ready-reference and easy-to-use guide section by section, or it can be used to obtain information and understanding about the various aspects of preparing and delivering Congressional testimony through a review of the book in its entirety or its individual chapters. As a desk reference, the treatise lays out for the reader’s use and guidance the various processes and stages of proper hearing, witness and statement preparation, as well as the best practices involved in delivering testimony and answering committee questions.

The principles in this book may also be used by those preparing for hearings before federal agencies and international tribunals, as well as state and local governmental bodies. However, the major thrust of this work focuses on the distinct Congressional hearing process and its major elements.

About the Author

William Laforge is an attorney in the Washington DC office of the law firm Winstead Sechrest & Minick P.C. As part of the firm's government relations team, he represents businesses and other organizations with public policy interests before the U.S. Congress and executive branch agencies. For more than 30 years, Mr. LaForge has been involved with the public policy arena at local, state and federal levels. On Capitol Hill, he was chief counsel of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, and culminated his government career as chief legislative counsel and chief of staff to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi. Mr. LaForge is a long-time adjunct professor in the School of Business at the George Washington University. He is a Bar Association faculty member for continuing legal education lobbying programs. He also served as faculty director of the Bryce Harlow Institute on Government and Business Affairs, The Fund for American Studies, 1997-2002. In 2006, he will be a visiting professor of law in Sofia, Bulgaria. Later this year, he will also assume the national presidency of The Federal Bar Association. Mr. LaForge earned a B.A., History, from Delta State University; a L.L.M., International and Comparative Law, from Georgetown University; and a J.D. from University of Mississippi School of Law.

Customer Testimonials

"Bill LaForge has written a thoughtful guide for those who are called to testify before the House or Senate. His insights are right on target." -- Thad Cochran, United States Senate "Previous victims of the congressional hearing root canal will ask themselves, 'Where was this invaluable book when I needed it?'" -- Mitch Daniels, Governor, Indiana