Be brief and substantial
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
21-Feb-2008


We are prone to making a big fuss about something not so big, believing that if we compile a critical mass of them, we will be able  to dent the witness' testimony on direct. Better to focus your attention on 2 or 3 substantial points, rather than wasting it on several minor points ...   Read More

Pauses
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
10-Jan-2008


Another effective way to affect a witness on cross-examination is to pause, to just momentarily stop asking questions and just look the witness in the eye. Here's my experience: When a witness lies or exaggerates on the stand, it usually shows in his demeanour. These telltale signs ...   Read More

Invading personal space: a cross exam tip
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
04-Jan-2008


Wouldn't you want to affect the composure of a witness on cross-examination, not only by your question, but by your action as well? I don't mean shouting at the witness. What I mean is subtle ones - like standing close to him when asking a question. Try this. When the witness does ...   Read More

Going around objections
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
14-Dec-2007


        A question on cross examination that may appear objectionable for being irrelevant may still be allowed if you know how to argue based on a different ground. In other words, choose your battles; don't get trapped in your opponent's objection a ...   Read More

Organizing the cross part 3
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
11-Nov-2007


How do you organize the order of the examination? The first and the last questions are the ones best remembered and have the most impact, according to the principle of primacy and recency. So save your two best points - either the ones that you know will do the most damage to the oppone ...   Read More

Organizing the cross, part 2
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
10-Nov-2007


While it may be tempting to cover all that the witness said during the direct examination, brevity is still the best policy. After setting down your objectives, concentrate on 3 most important points which will bring you closer to these objectives. These points must be the ones that you kn ...   Read More

Organizing the cross, Part 1
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
08-Nov-2007


As in all endeavors, planning is essential in cross-examination; if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. How do we plan? First, set the objectives. Start at the end. Imagine the memorandum you will write at the end of the case. What will you be writing about the testimony of this witness w ...   Read More

Lead to control
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
07-Nov-2007


Control of witness during cross-examination is so important that the most basic advice is to not lose it. Control is maintained when only close and leading questions (or most of them at least) are asked so that the witness is limited to answering only either yes or no. How to lead? Begi ...   Read More

Do you fear the witness?
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
07-Nov-2007


There’s neither a need to browbeat a witness nor to twist his arm during cross-examination. In fact, a familiar analogy is Aesop’s story about the sun and wind arguing who's stronger between them. We all know how that story ends. When we cross-examine, we forget that when we ...   Read More

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