February 17, 2021

A Guide to Direct Examination and Cross-Examination

Jack E. McGehee

Witness examination is the “meat and potatoes” of a jury trial. Contrasted with the flexibility of opening statement, witness examination is more rigid, often more mundane, but also more precise. These qualities are both strengths and weaknesses. Countless cases have been lost by lawyers who have blockbuster opening statements but who failed to appreciate adequately the purpose of direct and cross-examination.

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