September 01, 2013

First Time Lawyer: Leading Your Way Through Cross-Examination

Kelley Barnett

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Cross-examination can be the most thrilling and anxiety-provoking phase of trial. The cross-examining lawyer stands up. The witness’s chest tightens. The jury leans forward, waiting for the hammer to come down.

Is this an exaggeration of what really happens? Perhaps. But there’s no dispute that a successful cross-examination can deflate your opponent’s case. Aspiring trial lawyers must master this skill before that dramatic moment arrives.

As trial looms near, you’ve been assigned the job of cross-examining a witness. You did your homework, and you know everything about the witness and the witness’s relationship to the case. Now what?

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