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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 [...]

CROSS-EXAMINER’S DEMEANOR AND CONTROL

Through a Law Student’s EyesNo matter how much you stress certain principles of cross-examination in a law school trial advocacy class, the lessons don’t stick the way seeing them come live in a courtroom does. Students in my semester-long Comprehensive Trial Advocacy course go to court, watch a day of trial and write a report [...]

ON QUALIFICATION: LINDBERG CASE ILLUSTRATION

Cross-Examining the Witness Who Qualifies the AnswerWe lawyers love to ask yes-no questions on cross-examination. Trial advocacy schools teach us to ask such questions, but witnesses often refuse to give us yes-or-no answers. The witness’s refusal to give us the answer we crave may stem from many reasons. Let us examine three of them: (1) [...]

IRVING YOUNGER’S TEN COMMANDMENTS REVISITED

Or Better Yet – Ten Cross-Examination GuidelinesThe late, great Professor Irving Younger (whose CLE videotapes are still gems and worth viewing) gave us the ten commandments of cross-examination. He could talk all day about them, using memorable and humorous illustrations. He threatened to haunt his listeners if they ever violated one his ten commandments. These [...]

CROSS-EXAMINATION – KNOW THE ANSWER

Humor Makes the PointHumor can be the adhesive to make the point stick. And, the point is that the cross-examiner should know the answer before asking the question or not care what the answer is. Otherwise, as the saying goes, the cross may be “more suicidal than homicidal in nature.” The following transcript of a [...]

“WORST CROSS-EXAMINATION IN HISTORY”

Cross-Examination of Hermann GoeringSupreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson was appointed by President Harry Truman to be the Chief Prosecutor of the 24 defendants who had led the German military and Nazi political establishments. Most notable of the defendants was Field Marshall Hermann Goering. In their article entitled “Guidelines for Cross-Examination: Lessons from the Cross-Examination [...]