Brevity is the soul of wit. Irvin Younger may not have been Shakespeare, but his lectures have become a cornerstone for young lawyers learning the art and science of cross-examinations. Jack Russo and Professor Bob Acker know examinations can be daunting and confusing if you are not properly prepared and can result in a trial loss for you and your client. The trick is to follow Younger’s 10 Commandments which rejects the previously accepted ways of thinking and implements a set of guidelines for skilled and concise examinations that win over judge and jurors.
10 Commandments of Cross-Examination
Be brief. Short questions, plain words. Always ask leading questions. Don't ask a question to which you do not know the answer. Listen to the witness' answers. Don't quarrel with the witness. Don't allow the witness to repeat his direct testimony. Don't permit the witness to explain his answers. Don't ask the "one question too many." Save the ultimate point of your cross for summation.
9 Rules of Impeachment
Did the witness understand the oath that he took? Was the witness a percipient witness from the events by which he testified? Did the witness remember and is able to remember these events? Is he able to recount them? Does the witness have a good or bad reputation for truth telling in his neighborhood? Is the witness is biased or prejudice against the parties or has the witness has been bribed to give his testimony? Has the witness been convicted of a crime? Has a witness made a prior inconsistent statement that contradicts his testimony? Has the witness committed other prior bad acts?