Revisiting Younger's 10 Commandments | Professional Education Group


Revisiting Younger’s 10 Commandments

An Update of Irving Younger’s Classic Rules

for Cross-Examination

Stephen D. Easton

Irving Younger’s seminars electrified, entertained and energized an entire generation of America’s advocates. Professor Stephen Easton introduces a new generation to Younger’s landmark work with this practical, practice-driven program.

The overriding issue when any witness testifies — in a mediation, deposition, pre-trial hearing or at trial — is his or her credibility. Your effectiveness and success are grounded in your ability to expertly defend your witnesses’ credibility, or to effectively attack your adversary’s. In essence, the success of your practice hinges on two simple questions:

What do I ask? and When do I ask it?

A generation of American lawyers was trained by the ultimate master advocate, the incomparable Professor Irving Younger. His astounding wit, charm, skill, experience and intellect set the standard for excellence in the courtroom and in CLE seminars. Younger’s legend lives on, as Easton brings a fresh and contemporary approach to Younger’s time-honored classic that has served as an essential foundation for real-world practice.

Easton rises to the task of revisiting Younger’s classic Credibility & Cross-Examination: Including The 10 Commandments of Cross-Examination. Incorporating video clips from Younger’s masterpiece presentation, Easton takes a fresh look at the philosophy, psychology and physiology of credibility. He analyzes modern tools for preparing a witness to be credible and reflects on the skills that every lawyer must master to expose an adversary’s lack of credibility.

For 30 years, Younger’s grace and style set an unparalleled standard for excellence in the effective practice of law in the United States. Easton’s contemporary update of Younger’s magnificent work brings fresh relevance and perspective to one of the fundamental building blocks in effective advocacy.

Easton will help you reconcile the rules of evidence law and the modern considerations of the craft of advocacy. This fast-paced, media-rich program will both entertain and provide invaluable, practical tips to benefit every practicing lawyer — regardless of age, gender, experience or practice area.

Program Outline & Schedule (6 hours)

[Part I: 90 minutes]

Preliminary Thoughts On Cross-Examination

  • Terminology
  • Three Types of Cross-Examination
  • Required Elements for Successful Cross-Examination
  • Evidence Law Regarding Impeaching and Accrediting

The Law of Impeachment: What You Can Ask About in Cross

  • Competence Factors
  • Special Modes of Discrediting
  • Reputation for Veracity
  • The Law of Accrediting: What You Can Do to Rebuild Credibility

[15 minute break]

[Part II: 90 minutes]

Irving Younger’s “10 Commandments of Cross- Examination”
(with a few additional suggestions)

  1. Be Brief: Don’t Just Tell Them—Show Them!
  2. Ask Short Questions Using Plain Words: Get One Fact Per Question
  3. Ask Leading Questions: Write Questions that Must Be Answered “Yes”
  4. Ask Only Questions to Which You Already Know the Answer: Be Ready to “Prove Up” Your
    Questions Immediately
  5. Don’t Let the Witness Merely Repeat Direct Testimony: Set the Trap Before Springing It
  6. Don’t Let the Witness Explain: Secure Your Right to Control the Witness
  7. Listen to the Witness’s Answer: Record Important Testimony in the Witness’s Own Words
  8. Don’t Quarrel with the Witness: Do Not “Improve” the Witness’s Prior Statements
  9. Avoid the “One Question Too Many”: Stay Well Clear of “the Door”
  10. Save the Argument for Summation: Resist the Temptation to Wrap Your Cross into a Neat Package


[Part III: 90 minutes]

Final Arguments Attacking Witness Credibility

  • Fact Witnesses
  • Experts

The Truth About Ethics and the Ethics About Truth

[15 minute break]

[Part IV: 90 minutes]

Attorney Credibility

  • Understanding that Most Jurors Believe that Lawyers Cannot Be Trusted
  • Overcoming this Belief



Unconditional Guarantee
If you are not convinced that your understanding of the course topic has
improved after completion of any
 P.E.G.® seminar, we will refund your course tuition.