Concession-Seeking Cross

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DAVID BOIES’ ADVICE ON CROSS-EXAMINATION

  David Boies once again proved his preeminence as a cross-examiner in California’s Proposition 8 case. After driving out two of the other side’s experts when he took their depositions, Boies then turned the one remaining expert into his with his cross-examination at trial. How does David Boies over and over again conduct devastating cross-examinations? [...]

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 [...]

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. [...]

LINCOLN THE CROSS-EXAMINER

The centerpiece of the legend of the Almanac Trial is Lincoln’s cross-examination of the eyewitness to the killing. Was he really a good cross-examiner? Frederick Trevor Hill, who wrote the first book about Lincoln’s law practice seems to have thought so. Hill said:  Cross-examination makes greater demands upon a lawyer than any other phase of trial [...]

CROSS-EXAMINATION VIDEOS

Ann Murphy’s Gift of Cross-Examination VideosProfessor Ann Murphy (pictured here) has compiled a collection of videos and photographs that can be used to enliven any class presentation on evidence or cross-examination. This collection is valuable not only for evidence and trial advocacy professors but also for attorneys and law students who want to watch how [...]

TED BUNDY CASE CROSS-EXAMINATION

Last Friday (December 6, 2013) I (Bob Dekle) spoke at the Minnesota County Attorneys Association Convention. We flew into Minneapolis on Thursday and stayed through Monday. It was 81 degrees F when we left Lake City and -11 when we arrived at the airport in Minneapolis. As a lifelong Floridian who has seen more snow [...]

GREAT ADVICE ON CROSS-EXAMINATION REPEATED

 Excellent advice on cross-examination bears repeating. Thus, this piece repeats Michael Tigar’s advice (Examining Witnesses) that he borrowed from Terry McCarthy. The subject is how to commence cross-examination in a strong fashion, which we recently discussed here.  Tigar (pictured) states that:To begin (cross-examination) strong you must choose an area in which the witness will agree [...]

THE CROSS-EXAMINATION THAT CHANGED HISTORY

Modern presidential debates are really quite laughable affairs when compared to the prototypical series of campaign debates. The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 were actual debates and not carefully stage-managed opportunities to disgorge prefabricated talking points. The two men made arguments to their audiences in courtroom fashion with one party getting to open and close the [...]