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.
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