June 01, 2018 Feature

The Secrets of Cross-Examination : How to Avoid the Pitfalls at Trial

How to avoid pitfalls at trial.

Timothy B. Walthall | The author is a trial lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice, formerly with the law firm of McCampbell & Walthall, P.C., in Washington, D.C. The views expressed here are those of the author alone and not those of the Department of Justice.

Download a printable PDF of this article.

The folklore of cross-examination is filled with the hallowed stories of Edward Carson and Oscar Wilde, Abraham Lincoln and the almanac, Max Steuer and Sophie Shapiro, and Edward Bennett Williams and Jake Jacobsen. Such stories fill us with admiration and aspiration but also with anxiety and trepidation. Cross-examination is the hardest thing that a trial advocate does in the courtroom. Cross-examination—unlike voir dire, opening statement, direct examination, and closing argument—is the only unscripted interaction with another human being in the course of the trial.

Premium Content For:
  • Litigation Section
Join - Now