Yell, Compel, or Soft-Sell: How Blatant Must Cross-Examination Be?

Among Irving Younger’s commandments were the well-known dictates of “be brief” and “save the ultimate point of your cross for summation.” The latter was the model for an eyewitness cross-examination at a recent training on litigating mistaken identification cases, but when we polled the mock jury one of its members – discussing the cross –

Learning From Mistakes: An Imperfect Cross-Examination

“By seeking and blundering we learn” – Goethe “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas Edison. “A spelling mistake in the DNA of a gene within the brain seems to impair the ability of a person to improve their performance based on knowledge of earlier errors.” – News

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.

The Prosecutor Cross-Examines: A Guide to Avoiding Unfairness and Reversible Error

Prosecutors cross-examine much less frequently than do defense counsel, for good reason. Often defendants do not testify (with some data sets putting the number below the 50% threshold for felony cases that go to trial), whether because they have little too say, there is ample impeachment evidence the jury will not hear if they remain

Are The “10 Commandments of Cross-Examination” Sufficient?

For forty-plus years, learning the art of trial advocacy has included the obligatory viewing of a tape of Irving Younger’s “10 Commandments of Cross-Examination” lecture. And every lawyer who has ventured into the courtroom has seen – if not personally experienced – the dire consequences when a commandment is violated, in particular when the cross-examiner