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NEW EDITION OF CROSS-EXAMINATION HANDBOOK

The Second Edition of Cross-Examination Handbook: Persuasion, Strategies, and Techniques has just been published by Wolters Kluwer. This new edition continues its straightforward step-by-step instruction combined with examples from illustrious trials including the Zimmerman trial. The new edition adds, among other topics, visual cross-examination, social media impeachment and the interplay of discovery and cross. Also, [...]

CROSS-EXAMINATION TO PRIOR PROBABILITIES

Prior Probability is a term associated with a complex mathematical formula devised by the eighteenth century mathematician Thomas Bayes. You most likely will have to look long and hard to find a simple, everyday-English definition of the term.  I did a quick search of all the usual suspects on the internet (Wikipedia, etc.), and the [...]

RELAX – “IT’S EXRAORDINARILY RARE TO LOSE A CASE ON CROSS-EXAMINATION” BUT EXCEPTIONS EXIST

Observations in The Elements of Trial by Friedman and CummingsIn their new book TheElements of Trial (Trial Guides 2013), Rick Friedman and Bill Cummings make a point that we make in Cross-Examination Handbook that a well- planned cross-examination presents little risk to the cross-examiner. We point out that cross-examination is the examiner’s opportunity to elicit [...]

THE CROSS-EXAMINER’ DEMEANOR – DO’S AND DON’TS

Don’t Show the DamageYou asked the “Why” question on cross-examination. And, you just learned why it is a commandment that you should never ask a “why” question on cross. You learned that you opened the door for the expert witness who is now expounding on the other side’s case theory. You wish you could go [...]

CROSS-EXAMINATION CHECKLISTS

A Simple Idea for Success Checklists have always played an important part in successful cross-examinations. Now, bestselling author Dr. Atul Gawande (pictured here) has established that a checklist is the best tool for dealing with the complexities. In Dr. Gawande’s book The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right, makes his case with both stories [...]

“AHA” MOMENT AND CROSS-EXAMINATION

Closing the Loop of Cross in ClosingCross-examination designed to expose the defect in the witness’s testimony may not be evident to the jurors during the cross. Rather, the loop may be closed in closing argument when you unveil the flaw and the jurors comprehend the full impact of the examination. Michael Tiger describes the effect [...]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN AS A CROSS-EXAMINER

Frederick Trevor Hill was one of the first Lincoln biographers to write a book exclusively about Lincoln’s legal career. His work, Lincoln the Lawyer, which was published in 1912, contains a chapter entitled “The Cross-Examiner,” in which Hill assesses Lincoln’s abilities. Hill had this to say:Cross-examination makes greater demands upon a lawyer than any other [...]

AGGRESSIVE QUESTIONING ON CROSS-EXAMINATION

Argumentative Questioning - Then and NowAt the dawn of the Twentieth Century, the English barrister, James Ram, wrote a book entitled A Treatise on Facts as Subjects of Inquiry by a Jury. The work, which became quite popular in the United States as Ram on Facts, is available for download from the Internet Archive. In [...]

CROSS-EXAMINATION HANDBOOK CITED BY EVIDENCE SCHOLARS

Message from Professor Ronald Carlson Ronald L. Carlson, Fuller E. Callaway Professor Emeritus, University of Georgia School of Law, is one of America’s preeminent evidence scholars. He recently e-mailed us about Cross-Examination Handbook. His email comments, which he said we could share, read as follows: “I just sent in the copy for my part of [...]

LAUNCHED NEW SET OF PRETRIAL AND TRIAL BOOKS AND DVDS INCLUDING CROSS-EXAMINATION HANDBOOK

Litigation Bundle with a 50% Price Savings – Call 1-800-294-6777Wolters Kluwer (Aspen) has just launched the sale of a litigation bundle of materials at a price that can’t be beat. The suite of books and DVDs covers pretrial litigation and trial from START to FINISH. And the set of materials includes Cross-Examination Handbook. The BooksThe [...]