Cross Examination: A Primer for the Family Lawyer
This book has 159 Pages.
This book provides a concise guide to the essential foundations of planning and executing effective cross-examinations. It begins with the discussion of the fundamentals including the important distinctions to be drawn between bench and jury trials, the contrast between direct examination and cross-examination, the different attributes and techniques involved in “constructive” vs. “destructive” cross and an overview of the basic mandates of the techniques of cross-examination that ensure the attorney remains in control of the cross-examination and never relinquishes that control to the witness.
The work also explains important psychological principles such as “Primacy” and “Recency” that must be considered in structuring and sequencing various lines of cross-examination as well as various cross techniques such as the use of “looping” and “trilogies” to increase the dramatic impact of the cross-examination. Discussion of pace and timing are included to assist the attorney in creating cross-examinations that flow naturally and grab the attention and hold the interest of the fact-finder.
The text also covers such important concepts as the use of verbal language and body language to maximize the impact of the cross-examination and the critical importance of closing all doors or escape hatches before bringing the attack to its ultimate sting. The text also provides important guidance in dealing with particular types of witnesses, such as the adverse party, the intractable witness, the “I don’t know” witness, the “I can’t remember” witness, and the expert witness.
The reader will also find discussion of the numerous modes of impeachment available to the cross-examiner, such as showing witness bias, past misconduct and criminal convictions, lack of relevant perception, shortcomings in recollection, and impeachment by use of prior inconsistent statements. More than a simple delineation of the various modalities of impeachment, the primer provides practical guidance with respect to their execution, including building a cross-examination structure that gains the examiner maximum dramatic impact of the impeachment material. Additionally, cross-examination by use of treatises, use of the voluminous records rule, use of IRS regulations as impeachment fodder, and numerous other specific practice tips add to the practical value of the text.
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Tim’s insights into trends in the law combined with his encyclopedic knowledge of historical decisions provides invaluable guidance to the matrimonial practitioner. I could have stayed all night to hear more!
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