The phrase, "Chaptering Your Cross" is designed to reinforce the notion that cross-examining a witness is not a free-flowing discussion that you can do off the cuff like a toast at a wedding. Instead, the lawyer must undergo a mind-shift and view cross-examination as a series of small discussions (chapters) on individual topics of importance to the lawyer, with each chapter having a specific purpose or goal. Cross-examination in the "Chapter Method" moves from topic to topic, not necessarily in chronological order.
The chapter method of cross-examination is hands-down the most effective teaching model in a system as adversarial as litigation. An attorney who doesn't use the chapter method of cross is squandering an opportunity to exploit "the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.” John H. Wigmore, quoted in Lilly v. Virginia, 527 U.S. 116 (1999). Sure, the attorney might be able to score points, but not in any particular order. As a result, the jurors will be left with the unenviable task of having to reassemble the facts in order to understand the points that the cross-examiner was attempting to make. Learn how to avoid those mistakes and effectively chapter your cross from seasoned trial attorney Michael DeBlis.
Michael J. Deblis, III is a passionate trial lawyer. He puts his heart and soul into fighting for his clients. Michael is a living example of the tremendous power that comes from combining passion, preparation, persuasion, and positive communication in the courtroom.
As a former public defender, Michael has defended the poor, the forgotten, and the damned against a government that has seemingly unlimited resources to investigate and prosecute criminal allegations. He has spent the last six years cutting his teeth on some of the most serious felony cases, obtaining results that have proven favorable for his clients. He knows what it’s like to go toe to toe with the government. In an adversarial environment that is akin to trench warfare, Michael has developed a reputation as a fearless litigator.
Michael graduated – cum laude – from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He then earned his LL.M. in International Tax and Financial Services at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, graduating summa cum laude. Michael’s unique background in tax law puts him into an elite category of criminal defense attorneys who specialize in criminal tax defense. His extensive trial experience and solid grounding in all major areas of federal taxation make him uniquely qualified to handle any white-collar case, no matter how sophisticated it might be.
Michael is known for his creativity, his charismatic personality, and his unyielding dedication to his clients. As a graduate of the National Criminal Defense College, Michael has trained under some of the best known criminal defense attorneys in the country. That experience has taught him that justice for a person accused of a crime is only won through a full understanding of the client and the case. To that end, Michael attempts to understand each client’s case as a convincing narrative, not just as a set of innocuous facts and arcane legal rules.
Michael has been featured on the media affiliates of several major media networks, including NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and CNN.
Michael is a prolific writer in the area of foreign asset reporting and voluntary disclosure. He has written articles that have been featured in leading tax journals such as CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, Global Tax Weekly, and ABA News Quarterly.
A passionate blogger, Michael's blogs have appeared on TaxConnections' "Worldwide Tax Blogs" and most recently, on the About.com "Tax Planning" blog.
Michael is committed to understanding the needs of each client and tailoring a litigation plan to meet those needs. His courage and relentless work ethic have earned him a reputation as a zealous advocate and one of New Jersey’s rising stars of the legal profession.
This is an outstanding program on cross-examination: clear, concise, and practical. I hope LawLine will consider using this speaker for a longer program next time on this and other trial presentation topics. The subject warrants it, and the speaker is extremely good.
This is a superb program.
great presenter. i have done many cross examinations and i learned a lot.
this was by far the best and most useful CLE I have taken.
Attorney DeBlis constructed a very incisive and thoughtful presentation.
Class was very engaging. I'd say the best (by far) course on dealing with cross examination I have taken. Class took more than the allotted time because I would re-listen. A++. My favorite lawline class to date.
I took more notes during this than any CLE yet
A good introduction to the chapter method of cross examination
Great Cross examples and tutorials.
Excellent precise program -- much needed
Best lecturer and comprehensive course material ever.
This is an excellent presentation on how to make a strong impact on cross examination!
Mr. DeBlis is without question one of the most talented and polished lecturers among a distinguished faculty at Lawline. I only hope you can persuade him to develop another course soon!
Substantive and useful approach
I liked the examples.
The presenter was extremely persuasive and clear...I learned quite a bit about what I was hoping to learn. Thank you
Very helpful tips and well delivered
Very thorough and informative!
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