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COLD READING TECHNIQUE FOR CROSS-EXAMINATION

Years ago a friend of mine asked me (Bob Dekle) to watch a late night television show with him. In the show, a psychic summoned dead relatives from beyond the pale to talk to his guests. The show began with some appropriate music, a video of stars swirling in the galaxy, and a voice-over talking [...]

NEW CROSS-EXAMINATION TRAINING

Coming Soon - Inaugural Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute – June 2 There will be a healthy dose of instruction on winning cross-examination strategies and techniques at the new week-long Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute (ATAI) that I and Professor Marilyn Berger are chairing. The course begins June 2, 2014. Seattle University Law School and the American [...]

NEW ADVANCED TRIAL ADVOCACY INSTITUTE

Coming soon - June 2, 2014, Seattle University Law School and the American College of Trial Lawyers proudly begin the inaugural Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute (ATAI). This CLE program offers winning trial advocacy strategies and skills from preparation through closing argument. The Institute is designed to be the most comprehensive trial advocacy training program in [...]

SMOKE-AND-MIRRORS CROSS-EXAMINATION AND COURTROOM POSITIONING

Where to StandRecently I (Bob Dekle) had my class doing practical exercises on concession-seeking cross-examination. See Cross-Examination Handbook for a discussion of the concession-seeking method.  Since we were in a mock courtroom, the non-performing students played the role of jurors and the witness took the witness stand. The first performer asked me if she should [...]

LINCOLN USED CONCESSION-SEEKING CROSS-EXAMINATION

The Crafton Murder Trial Cross-ExaminationAbraham Lincoln’s fame as a cross-examiner rests in large part on his decisive use of an almanac to discredit a witness in what history remembers as the Almanac Trial. If we dig into the history books, we can find much better support for the proposition that he was an excellent cross-examiner. [...]

MOTION ARGUMENT PREPARATION

If you are unprepared to argue a motion, it shows. This was the take away that a significant number of my Seattle University law students noted in their reports on watching motions arguments in both state and federal court. I require that my Comprehensive Pretrial students attend a motion hearing and then write a report [...]

PRETRIAL & TRIAL ADVOCACY: GET THEM OUT OF THE CLASSROOM

When teaching pretrial or trial advocacy, it is important to get the law students out of the classroom to experience the real life of a trial lawyer. For my Comprehensive Pretrial Advocacy course, the students have a minimum of three experiences outside the classroom. First, we go to the scene – the Garage tavern (the [...]

CROSS-EXAMINATION IN KOSOVO

Introducing Cross-Examination in KosovoFor the past week, I (Ron) have been in Pristina, Kosovo teaching trial advocacy, including, of course, cross-examination. The U.S. Department of Justice offered this advocacy training as part of Kosovo’s effort to implement the rule of law. Kosovo is the world’s newest nation, having declared its independence in 2008. The population [...]

TRIAL ADVOCACY IN KOSOVO

Advancing JusticeFor the past week, I have been in Pristina, Kosovo teaching trial advocacy. The U.S. Department of Justice offered this advocacy training as part of Kosovo’s effort to implement the rule of law. Kosovo is the world’s newest nation, having declared its independence in 2008. The population of Kosovo is approximately 1.8 million. The [...]

DON’T LOSE THE JURY ON DIRECT EXAMINATION

The Engaging Direct ExaminationA poorly executed direct examination can lose the jury or bore them to snores. There are many ways to disengage the jury from your direct. Use the windshield wiper method (“What happened next?” “What happened next?”  And then what happened?”). While this may elicit the information, it can be as mind-numbing as [...]