Cross examination techniques: 5 things a good lawyer must do before conducting cross examination
Cross examination techniques: Cross examination as we know is the questioning of a witness by a party other than the party that called him. This is done after examination in chief. Remember that examination in chief is the questioning of a witness by a party that called him. The main essence of examination in chief is to lead the witness to tell his o her story or deliver his or her testimony and tender any relevant evidence while the main essence of cross examination is to discredit the witness and thus render his or her testimony unreliable . When this is done, the case of the party that called the said witness will be negatively affected.
Because of the great effect of cross examination in a trial process, it is expected that any lawyer desiring victory in a case must be abreast with the techniques, principles and tips for effective cross examination. It is not enough to read these tips, principles and techniques of cross examination but more important to put them into practice. Every lawyer who wants to conduct a good cross examination must prior to the exercise, do his homework well. There are things to be done prior, during and after the cross examination and all these contribute to the success of the exercise.
cross examination techniques: 5 things a good lawyer must do before conducting cross examination
- Read the case and be acquainted with every fact of the case. In other words, memorize the facts of this case. As a good lawyer you do not need to be running through the files in court to enable you remember what transpired between the parties . You are supposed to have read and read the facts and memorize them. Be the master of the facts of the said case.
- During Examination in chief, pay rapt attention to the witness testifying, note down points and later in your chambers , compare the oral testimony of the witness and his written statement on oat and from them, prepare your cross examination.
- Write down the questions you intend to ask and what you intend to achieve from the question. Ask relevant questions. Always remember that the success of your cross examination is not dependent on the volume of your questions but on the relevancy and compelling nature of the questions. To bore the judge and the court as a whole with irrelevant questions is bad and unprofessional.
- Learn to be friendly. Put yourself in a happy mood before coming to the court, Smile all through. A court is not a war zone, it is not a battle field but simply a temple of justice and as a lawyer, you are a minister in the temple of justice. Avoid being antagonistic to the witness. Be friendly with him or her.
- Remind yourself that inasmuch as you owe a duty to be diligent to your client, you owe more duty to the court to help in quick and easy dispensation of justice. Meanwhile remember it feels good to be a lawyer