Category: Criminal Defense

Ghomeshi: The Letter

Once in rare while we come across a piece of advocacy which seems almost perfect. This is hard to accomplish in cross examination because your “partner” is hostile and seeks to thwart you at every turn. This is especially true in a sex crimes case because they are so freighted with emotion. The accuser can be highly agitated and the cross-examininer can easily lose control. It rarely goes as scripted.

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Ghomeshi: Witness #3

After the DeCoutre Disaster the Crown called to the witness box a woman publicly identified only as complaint #3. If the Crown thought she would bring their case back from the dead, they were sorely mistaken.

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Jian Ghomeshi: Cross-examination #1

I enjoy following trials and dissecting cross-examinations. An outstanding example of confrontation is currently proceeding in Canada. Jian Ghomeshi is the celebrity defendant in the Canadian “Trial of the Century.” He is being defended by Marie Henein, a protege of the late Eddie Greenspan, who was Canada’s best known criminal lawyer.

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Mob Justice in Baltimore

Few animals are as dangerous as a lynch mob. Pitchforks and torches, or slogans and signs, the effect is the same; taking justice into their own hands.

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The Slippery Slope of Waiving Rights

I read in the New York Times that Eli Cherkasky, an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan DA public corruption unit, was adjudged guilty of third-degree assault, criminal obstruction of breathing and second-degree harassment, all misdemeanors. He had a fight with a woman during a drunken argument at a bar on Halloween night in 2014. He waived his right to a jury trial.

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Cross-examination Preparation

No matter the system of justice, an advocate is only as good as his preparation — especially when it comes to cross-examination. I follow a good cross-examination no matter where it occurs. I enjoyed dissecting the over-the-top Gerry Nel cross-examination of Oscar Pistorius in his notorious South African murder trial. Now comes another international trial, […]

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“How can you represent those people?”

The classic crack made at many a cocktail party. Every defense lawyer suffers through the ordeal of offering a dissatisfying response (at least to the tormentor) to this barely concealed insult. I have no intention of dragging out the usual suspects, but rather I want, for a change, to ask the question myself. Not for […]

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FIU Cross-Examination Seminar

On Friday, December 12, 2014, I will be teaching a seminar on cross-examination at the FIU Law School. The seminar has been organized by H.T. Smith and Scott Fingerhut. I have attached the materials I drafted for the seminar.

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Risky Business

At the last NBA All-Star game SAP unveiled a player-efficiency software program called SportVU. It records every movement of a player during a game. It plots 792,000 data points — shooting, rebounding, defensive efficiency, spacing on the court, speed, and dribbling. By crunching these numbers it predicts the most effective combination of players and reduces the coach’s risk.

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The “Bull Dog” Cross

In the beginning I had little interest in the Oscar Pistorius trial; only after reading descriptions of Gerrie “The Bull Dog” Nel’s cross-examination of Pistorius (OP) did I pay attention. The skill of cross examination is something I am intensely interested in and Nel failed to disappoint me. I could teach a seminar using his technique.

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