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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Very informative. Especially, as it relates to the calculations and term of spousal maintenance under the new post-divorce maintenance law.

Leonard E. Gershon, Syracuse

About the Author

Stephen Gassman has been practicing matrimonial and family law for over 30 years, and has garnered a nationwide reputation as a leader in the field. He is one of fewer than 100 trial lawyers nationwide to be designated as a Diplomate of the exclusive American College of Family Trial Lawyers.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina and New York Law School, Mr. Gassman has served as an adjunct professor of law at Touro Law School, as Chair of the Family Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, and as President of the Nassau County Bar Association. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a member of the Committee on Matrimonial Practice of the Unified Court System of the State of New York. He also serves on the Law Guardian Advisory Panel to the Tenth Judicial District, and as a member of the Judicial Hearing Officer Screening Committee of the Tenth Judicial District.
Mr. Gassman has authored numerous articles and monographs on all facets of matrimonial law and is the co-author, with Timothy M. Tippins, Esq., of counsel to Gassman Baiamonte Betts PC, of the popular works Evidence for Matrimonial Lawyers and Matrimonial Valuation. He is an editor of Fairshare, a monthly matrimonial law publication, and has authored a chapter on the Use of Appraisers in the Valuation of Marital Property, published by Matthew Bender, as well as articles for the New York State Bar Association’s Family Law Review. Mr. Gassman has lectured extensively to bar groups and at judicial symposiums on the national, state and local levels.
As the founding member of the firm, Mr. Gassman has successfully tried hundreds of matrimonial cases, and settled thousands of cases, throughout his career. In addition, he has served as appellate counsel in the Appellate Division and the Court of Appeals. The New York Post has written that he is regarded as the top divorce lawyer in Nassau County.