How to Use Technology for Effective Cross-Examination

presentationAA049409The following is a guest blog post by Jeff Bennion, a solo practitioner in San Diego who specializes in personal injury and consulting on e-discovery and litigation technology.

A good cross-examination should come off as scripted. California Evidence Code §767(a)(2) allows for leading questions on cross-examination, and a good trial attorney should lead the witness through the narrative using only questions that he or she knows the answer to. But things don’t always go according to plan. When a witness gives an answer that you did not expect or that is contrary to what you learned in discovery, you need to have a plan for showing your impeachment evidence to the jury. Continue reading

To Call or Not to Call an Adverse Party or Witness

witness_87617035In civil cases, you can call an adverse party or witness in your own case. Evid C §776(a). But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Before deciding to call an adverse party or witness, definitely check out this chart laying out the strategy considerations—reasons to do it and reasons to steer clear. Continue reading

5 Things to Do Before Deposing an Expert

92419672Taking the deposition of an opponent’s disclosed expert entails more and different preparation than when you’re deposing a lay witness. Here are 5 things to do when prepping for an expert’s deposition. Continue reading

Should You Move for Mistrial?

90279590Certain things that happen during trial may be so improper and prejudicial that they deprive a party of the right to a fair trial. That’s when counsel may move for a mistrial. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Like everything else at trial, whether to move for mistrial is a tactical decision. Continue reading

2 Ways to Lose Credibility in Court

You likely start out with credibility in the eyes of the judge. After all, you’re an officer of the court. But that initial benefit of the doubt can easily slip away, and once you’ve lost your credibility, the case may not be far behind. Continue reading

Costs Claimed Out of Whack? Move to Tax Them

507797495To the victor go the spoils. But that doesn’t mean the prevailing party can get whatever it wants in claimed costs. If you disagree with the costs listed in the prevailing party’s costs memorandum, file and serve a motion to tax costs. Here’s how. Continue reading

An Offer to Concede Your Expert’s Qualifications May Be a Trojan Horse

454360833When you start eliciting testimony on your expert witness’s qualifications, the other side may offer to “waive the testimony concerning qualifications” or concede that the witness is specially qualified to testify as an expert. It may seem like a gift horse—but it’s often a Trojan horse. Continue reading

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