Part 3: Actual transcript
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
03-Jun-2008


  (... continued) ATTY. OPENA TO THE WITNESS: Q:     And after your son was slumped, what did you do? A:     I went to my son and carried him to take him to the hospital. Q:     How many shots did you hear? A:  ...   Read More

Part 2: Actual transcript
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
02-Jun-2008


(... continued) ATTY. OPENA TO WITNESS: Q:    When you said end of sofa which portion, the left side or the right side? A:    The right.   Apparently, the positions of the witness and the victim, the locations of the sofa and the window are important. So, ...   Read More

Part 1: Actual transcript
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
30-May-2008


The following is a transcript of a direct examination in a criminal case for murder. We decided to comment on it (see the paragraphs in italics). See if you agree with our comments and suggestions on how to make it better. This was taken from People vs. Lee, G.R. No. 139070,  May 29, ...   Read More

Preparing the witness 2: discussing the testimony with the witness
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
28-May-2008


   When discussing the outline of the witness' testimony, the lawyer does not give the witness a copy, however. He recognizes the danger that, during cross-exam, the witness may be required to produce the outline if he unwittingly mentions it. If he does produce the outline, it w ...   Read More

Preparing witnesses 1: testimony to be in most persuasive form
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
27-May-2008


     Witnesses must be prepared for direct examination. "Preparing witnesses" does not mean coaching him on his testimony. On the contrary, the witness should always be instructed to tell the truth; preparing means doing our duty as lawyers to present the witn ...   Read More

Overcoming the "leading objection"
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
14-Apr-2008


 "Objection, leading!" This is perhaps the most oft-repeated objection of all during direct examination. While most lawyers (and judges) gauge if a question leads or not by the standard "if it is answerable by yes or no, then it is leading," the rule-book definitio ...   Read More

Your witness: how to make him more credible
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
01-Apr-2008


“If you cannot trust the messenger, why trust the message?” What this means for us trial lawyers is for us to give equal importance to both the story and the story-teller.  The credibility of the testimony must match the credibility of the witness.   How do we do ...   Read More

Be picturesque
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
25-Jan-2008


 Before language was invented, psychologists say that humans think in and relay thoughts by pictures. We simply remember better when we see pictures and not just hear words; in fact, going further, educators say that learning about something (such as remembering a testimony in court) ...   Read More

How do you end your direct?
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
03-Jan-2008


The direct examination is when we tell our story, fit those pieces to build our case, and persuade the judge to our side. Our job therefore, is to make the direct examination as impactful and memorable as possible, so that the judge remembers it come decision time. And one way to make o ...   Read More

Direct on re-direct
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
17-Dec-2007


The other lawyer's just finished his cross exam of your witness. You don't think there's any need for re-direct questions. Going over your notes, however, you realize that there are questions you forgot to ask in your direct examination earlier. Or, you're already mid-way in your re-dire ...   Read More

Leading questions erode credibility
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
26-Nov-2007


  The objection "Leading question, You Honor" is perhaps the most frequent objection we either make or hear during trials, supposedly because of fear that the witness's "Yes" or "No" to this type of question will enter the record and thus hurt us. B ...   Read More

Watch out for the cross exam
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
25-Nov-2007


  Most of the witnesses for your case, and their stories, are not rosy and pink. In fact, most of the times, they know of some facts that may hurt your case. When preparing your witness, anticipate the cross-examination that's sure to come. We've had a witness who testified eff ...   Read More

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