Preparing and Conducting Cross-Examinations in Federal Court
Created on September 13, 2018
Cross-examination is a critically important weapon in the trial lawyers' arsenal, designed to expose truths and inconsistencies in the direct testimony of a witness, or to otherwise further the cross-examiner's position. The ability to conduct powerful cross-examinations is often the difference between acquittal and conviction.
Experienced federal trial attorney and trial advocacy teacher Joseph A. Bondy discusses the elements of effective cross-examination, including preparing, structuring and sequencing, and the "Chapter Method" of examination, with reference to actual transcripts of Mr. Bondy's cross-examinations. This course is relevant for practitioners at all levels of experience.
- Develop skills to prepare to conduct an effective cross-examination, including setting the examination objective(s), and gathering of relevant materials
- Organize a witness cross-examination into discrete chapters, and to sequence the examination for maximum effect
- Properly form leading questions and overcome common objections at hearings or trial
- Hone the skill of conducting impeachment of a witness based upon a prior inconsistent statement
- Make the opponent's witnesses your own
- Study relevant examples and applications of all of the above skills in practice
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