Domestic Diversions

The lawyer as witness: a basic rule of cross examination

McElhaney on Litigation reminds us that the point of cross examination is to tell the jury your side of the case.

Jim McElhaney writes (excerpt):
“Because,” said Angus, “trying to argue the case gets in the way of your most important job on cross—which is to be the real witness. The point of cross-examination is to let you testify while the person on the witness stand reluctantly agrees that what you say is true.”
***
“Even more important,” said Angus, “don’t make the witness your own unless you must. Every time you use the witness to get information you need for your case—asking questions that start with who, where, what, when, how or why—you are sending the message that the witness can be relied on to give accurate information. You’re telling the jury, ‘You want the truth? Trust Mike Williams. I do.’


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