BUILDING BLOCK #1

 

DIRECT EXAMINATION

 

At the end of the course you should be able to perform the following with regards to the direct examination of witnesses:

 

1.         ORGANIZE the direct examination in a persuasive and logical way, usually       by:

 

·                    Accrediting the witness

 

·                    Setting the Scene

 

·                    Describing the Action

 

·                    Filling in Detail

 

2.         Present the fact-finder with an UNDERSTANDABLE STORY by:

 

·                    Sometimes using a teaser question

 

·                    Usually telling a chronological story, but sometimes using a topical approach

 

·                    Utilizing the doctrines of primacy and recency by starting and ending big

 

·                    Using head notes

 

3.         Keep the fact-finder involved by using an INTERESTING PACE by:     

 

·                    Not letting the story lag or become tedious

 

·                    Not leaving long pauses between answers and the next question except for dramatic effect

 

·                    Varying the pace depending on the information being asked about and the mood being created

 

4.         Make the examination PERSUASIVE by:

 

·                    Tying the story into your case theory and theme

 

·                    Letting the witness tell the story, not the attorney, by putting the spotlight on the witness

·                    Using primarily nonleading, open-ended questions (Who, What, Where, When, Why, How, Describe, Explain)

 

·                    Keeping questions simple

 

·                    Using conversational language

 

·                    Using active language

 

·                    “Torturing” key points

 

·                    Using connectors and “looping back”

 

·                    Anticipating cross examination

 

·                    Using detail for credibility, not tedium

 

5.         Use an interesting and dynamic STYLE by:

 

·                    Using your voice for interest and emphasis

 

·                    Maintaining eye contact

 

·                    Displaying energy and interest

 

·                    Not reading your questions, but operating from an outline

 

·                    Avoiding distracting mannerisms