The Crash Course in Cross-Examination
Stephen D. Easton
The Crash Course In Cross-Examination is specially designed for law firms and corporate legal departments looking to concentrate important practical advice into a short CLE program.
The program features two faculty members, both of them experts at cross-examination: University of Missouri Columbia Professor Stephen D. Easton and the late Professor Irving Younger. Younger’s wit, charm, skill, experience and intellect set the standard for excellence in the courtroom and in CLE. His legend lives on as Easton brings a new approach to Younger’s time-honored cross-examination classic that has served as an essential foundation for real-world practice.
Easton rises to the task of revisiting Younger’s famous “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.
Easton will help you reconcile the rules of evidence law and the modern considerations of the craft of advocacy. This fast-paced, visually-rich program will entertain and provide valuable, practical tips that will benefit every practicing lawyer—regardless of age, gender, experience or practice area.
Program Outline & Schedule (2 or 3 hours)
[Part I: 75 minutes]
Preliminary Thoughts About Cross-Examination
- The 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
o Competence factors
o Special modes of discrediting
o Reputation for veracity
- The Law of Accrediting: What You Can Do to Rebuild Credibility
[15 minute break]
[Part II: 105 minutes]
Irving Younger’s “10 Commandments of Cross-Examination”
(with a few additional suggestions)
Write Your Cross-Examination Questions in Advance
- Be Brief: Don’t Just Tell Them — Show Them!
- Ask Short Questions Using Plain Words: Get One Fact Per Question
- Ask Leading Questions: Write Questions that Must Be Answered “Yes”
- Ask Only Questions to Which You Already Know the Answer: Be Ready to “Prove Up” Your Questions Immediately
- Don’t Let the Witness Merely Repeat Direct Testimony: Set the Trap Before Springing It
- Don’t Let the Witness Explain: Secure Your Right to Control the Witness
- Listen to the Witness’s Answer: Record Important Testimony in the Witness’s Own Words
- Don’t Quarrel with the Witness: Do Not “Improve” the Witness’s Prior Statements
- Avoid the One Question Too Many: Stay Well Clear of “the Door”
- Save the Argument for Summation: Resist the Temptation to Wrap Your Cross into a Neat Package
[Adjourn (Or break for Master’s Roundtable)]
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.