CROSS EXAMINATION...........by Jesus Rabinowitz 
Thursday, July 14, 2011, 09:04 PM
Posted by Administrator
As the oldest among us remember, a man named Irving Younger was America's greatest Continuing Legal Education lecturer. He is dead now but I still have a dozen or so of his cassette tapes. (It has been ten years since I owed a cassette player.) Here is what Irving said were the two rules of successful cross examination:
1) Don't get up.
-Nothing good will come of it; you will screw up your case; the witness you are about to cross examine hasn't hurt you; why ask anything on cross??????
2) Sit down.
-You were dumb enough to get up; the witness you set out to destroy has, instead, filled in gaps in his direct testimony; the more questions you ask, the more damage you will do....so, why are you standing there thinking of something to ask???? SIT DOWN.

Still, lawyers being the arrogant know-it-alls that they are, can't help themselves... When the judge says "Cross examination, Mr. Mason?" Mason has to say "Yes."

Now what?

The idea is that Mr. Mason (Perry Mason for those old enough to remember) is going to tell his (client's) version of the witnesses story and, along the way, stop every few moments and give the witness a chance to agree that he is telling the story correctly. So, (and this is the same thing you do in sales), you want to get the witness to get used to saying "Yes".

Q. "You have known your wife for several years, right?"
A. "Yes."
Q. "And you lived together for all that time, right?"
A. "Yes."
Q. "And the two of you had three kids together, right?"
A. "Yes."

...you want to get the witness to trust you by asking him/her questions that are easy to answer with a "Yes". This also lets the trier of fact (judge or jury) know that you are worth believing...the witness is agreeing that you are being accurate.

.........then the going gets tougher....to be continued...
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