CROSS EXAMINATION: TEN BEST SECRETS OF A SUCCESSFUL CROSS EXAMINATION
Cross examination as we know is the questioning of a witness by a party other than the party that called him. It is a very important aspect of a trial. A good lawyer must be abreast with the skills, tips and techniques of cross examination.
In addition to knowing the skills, tips and techniques, it is also very important for a lawyer to be acquainted with the few secrets of successful cross examination.
Below are some secrets to effective cross examination.
- learn to listen to your instinct and like a fisherman, set your hook at the right time. The witness here is the fish. If you set your hook at the right, the witness will be yours.
- Learn to watch good lawyers in action and copy whatever they do that seems effective.
- Do your home work well. study and be conversant with the facts of the case. Learn to make a comprehensive note of the questions to ask during cross examination.
- 5. Ask questions to which there is virtually no responsive answer but “yes,” “no,” or “I don’t know.” This creates controlled cross, driving the witness to your conclusions.
- Take advantage of confused, implausible, or non-responsive answers. Testimony volunteered or invented under the pressure of cross-examination can lead to devastating follow up, often allowing you to demonstrate on the spot that the witness is evasive or lying.
- Listen, think about, and analyze what the witness actually says. The more you listen, the calmer and more effective you will become.
- Know more than the witness — more about the facts, more about the law, and, in the case of experts, more about the subject — at least for the period of time they testify. No matter how difficult this may be, you are a lawyer, so you must know more than the witness.
- Be focused and never allow yourself be distracted by ceaseless objection by the opposing counsel. No matter the number of objections from opposing counsel, return to your subject and get your answer. This is a delicate area, and it often requires a great deal of experience. But if the judge sustains the objection and the answer is important to your case, you must find another way to put the question without offending her ruling.
Cross examination can make or man your case. so as a lawyer be careful and prepared