Rookie Mistakes

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3rd ROOKIE MISTAKE OF CROSS-EXAMINATION: REPEATING THE DIRECT

Irving Younger’s 7th CommandmentIt is probably the most common rookie mistake - the cross-examiner has the witness repeat their direct examination. Question: “On direct examination you told this jury that . . .” The error is grievous. It violates Irving Younger’s 7th commandment: “Don't allow the witness to repeat his direct testimony.” Younger’s commandment directs [...]

2ND ROOKIE MISTAKE OF CROSS-EXAMINATION: BEING WITHOUT PROOF

You Know the Cross-Examiner is a Rookie When . . .A lawyer should never attempt to impeach a witness with a prior inconsistent statement if the prior statement cannot be proven. Some lawyers ask about a prior statement without proof of the prior statement in the hopes that either the witness will admit it or, [...]

CROSS-EXAMINATION ROOKIE MISTAKE #1: PITTING

Don’t Ruin Your Cross-ExaminationCross-examination intended to compel the witness to contradict another witness by calling the other witness a liar is called “pitting,” and it is a rookie mistake and reversible error in this nation. Michael E. Tigar noted notes that this isn’t true elsewhere around the world: “The rules limit your ability to ask [...]