Taking the Sting Out: Using Direct Examination to Anticipate and Undercut Attacks on Your Witness

Sadly, it can be the rare witness who does not come with some baggage – a criminal conviction, a potential bias, an inconsistent statement, or some other challenge to her/his credibility. So, the proponent of that witness has to make a choice – bring it out first, or simply wait for the sting of cross-examination.

When There’s Only “Reasonable Doubt”

Law students are taught that the ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ standard is the bedrock of the justice system, one that is desirable because, as Blackstone declared, it is “better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” But does that resonate with jurors? In other words, when a lawyer argues that “the prosecution

The “Personal Knowledge” Rule: An Evidence Principle Worth Considering

Rare is the case [excepting expert testimony] where a witness is not describing what s/he claims to have seen, heard, smelled, touched or tasted. Without that sensory connection to the item at issue, there would be no relevance; and most lawyers abstain from calling a witness to testify to what was behind a closed door