The Best Way to Start a Cross-Examination

The key to a successful cross-examination is to start strong. The beginning of your cross is the time to go for the jugular. Here’s an example of how it’s done. Continue reading

How to Object Without Being Objectionable

thinkstockphotos-85449217-1How do you object in trial without being objectionable to the jury? Perhaps it’s impossible: A jury naturally resents the attorney who constantly leaps up and breaks the flow of information. But there are a few ways to make yourself less objectionable to the jury. Continue reading

The Best Way to Attack an Opposing Expert

57277978You rarely want to attack an opposing expert witness directly. Your best bet during cross-examination is to use peripheral or tangential ways of assailing the expert’s views. Continue reading

8 Tips for Every Cross-Examination You Do

ThinkstockPhotos-57280447Your approach to cross-examination will vary depending on the “type” of witness being examined, e.g., the hostile witness, the flippant witness, the timid witness, or the sympathetic and truthful witness. But regardless of which type you’re dealing with—which can even change during your examination—there are some universal principles of cross-examination that apply in any situation. Continue reading

Questions to Ask When Deposing an Expert

ThinkstockPhotos-142081160The task of deposing the opposition’s expert is simplified immeasurably by keeping in mind the deposition’s fundamental purpose: to discover all of the expert’s opinions and all of the bases for those opinions. Your goal should not be to impeach the expert but rather to concentrate on learning everything the expert thinks about the case, has been told or learned about the case, and has done or plans to do in connection with the case. To help reach that goal, here’s a checklist of questions to consider asking when you’re deposing the opposition’s expert. Continue reading

Don’t Bore the Jury!

Much to the chagrin of trial attorneys, jurors don’t always give their full attention to the trial. It’s trial counsel’s job to keep things interesting. Depending on the case, this can be a tall order. Here are some tips for making your questioning of a witness as compelling as possible. Continue reading

The “Opening the Door” Fallacy

200368976-001It is a popular fallacy that if testimony is given on a subject during direct examination, this will “open the door” to unrestricted cross-examination about that matter; making evidence admissible that would otherwise be inadmissible. This is actually only true in certain limited circumstances. Continue reading

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