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Cross-Examination Skills

Cross-Examination Skills
Cross-Examination: Fundamentals
Controlling the Witness on Cross

1.Goals Of Cross
Set and accomplish goals that further case theory.

2. Scope
Use cross to elicit useful information from
the witness either to impeach or establish favorable facts.

Select the most persuasive topics for cross while avoiding topics that conflict with case strategy.

Avoid harming the case.

3. Control
Use phrasing, pacing and sequencing of questions to get desired answers from the witness.

Avoid open-ended questions -- including how and why.

4. Development
Develop topics sufficiently to provide points
for closing without indulging in overkill.

Develop topics so permit that the decision maker appreciates the points made.

5. Contrast
Setting the hook sufficiently during impeachment by committing the witness to inconsistency before making the contrast between the two statements?

6. Form
Use simple and clear questions understood
by the witness and the decision maker.

Choose words to maximize the witness' agreement or disagreement.

Limit questions to one new fact and no more than five words excluding leading phrase and connecting word.

Avoid using modifiers and generalizations.

7. Objections
Questions generated a minimum number of valid objections.

Meet objections.

8. Tone
Direct any hostility to the witness' responses
and conduct without berating the witness.

Listened to and followed up on witness answers to elicit helpful testimony?