Category: Cross-Examination

RIP: Cross-Examination Has Died in Georgia

I have a Google alert for “rape” and an article from a local newspaper in Georgia popped up on my computer screen this morning. Benjamin Tyler Gray, 29, is on trial charged with rape in Coweta County Superior Court, Georgia. A 27-year-old woman, unnamed of course, testified she woke up to find Gray in bed with her. The victim claims that the sexual encounter was not consensual even though she admitted did not attempt to resist Gray. Gray claims the sex was consensual. Thus the only issue for the jury was whether she consented to sex.

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Bulldogging in Miami

Naturally I read the legal commentary following Nel’s cross of Pistorius. Most lawyers were critical, labeling Nel’s sarcasm and bullying as argumentative and thus objectionable in a US court. While I generally agree with those observations, it appears there is a place for bulldogging.

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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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Cross Examination: The Sympathetic Yet Deadly Witness

The challenge – how to cross examine, impeach or even just diminish the impact of sympathetic witnesses without losing your audience?

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Blogging Again

I have ignored this blog for the past two months because I was acutely tied up – the vicious battle for a new trial in the Goodman case, several intense criminal investigations and even a contentious civil case. But now I have some time while decompressing in our LA house. I will write on the many jury selection ideas learned from the Goodman wars once my PTSD wears off, but here is a taste of that battle.

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Cross-examine Like a Psychopath

I came across a new book called The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin Dutton. A catchy title even for the motivational field. He claims that CEOs and lawyers are high in the psychopathy continuum. This sounds bad but he makes the point that psychopathic traits really aren’t all bad. It’s all a matter of degree. He writes that the seven deadly “wins” are ruthlessness, charm, focus, mental toughness, fearlessness, mindfulness and action.

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Cross-Examination: Teaching The Rules

This past week my law school class worked on a cross-examination problem. In short, they ask the questions as if on cross with the mock witness and I play the witness. Like the real thing, wits are matched, and emotions run high in the head on clash. In order to make certain points, I will then change places with the student and show how I would do it. While preparing for class and engaging in the exercise, I pondered which methods to use in teaching the art of cross-examination

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“We don’t recognize no f**king complaints!”

“We don’t recognize no f**king complaints!” The new motto from the same people who brought us Rodney King. If you dare complain about our misconduct you will reap the whirlwind.

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One Question Too Many (Part 2)

I love collecting examples of this all too human foible. Let’s face reality, we all violate this rule. We just can’t help it. It is a compulsion. We know it is wrong, but like most addicts we figure we can get away with it. Despite that they are fun to collect because, so long as […]

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Irving Younger Part 2

Here is another fun story Irving Younger employed in his cross-examination lecture. He used it as a “one question too many” example but I think it works far better for fertile ideas when a large number is involved.

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