Marietta, GA personal injury attorney Michael R. Braun talks about the effectiveness of cross examining someone in the courtroom and his experience in various circumstances doing so.
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I tell you cross-examination is probably the most fun part of the trial. It is the part where you get to; I hesitate to say invoke your will but to get the jury to understand why the person you’re cross-examining is not necessarily telling the full story. I don’t want to say they’re telling mistruths ’cause that’s not always accurate a lot of times they’re telling you their side to the story and all stories have two sides. But cross-examination is an opportunity to bring out your case in the adverse party’s testimony. And it really can be the most fun part.
The basis of cross-examination though really starts in preparation. Taking the person’s deposition, learning the facts of what they’re going to testify about. If it’s an expert, it’s real important to do your job beforehand and make sure that you understand the things that the expert is going to testify about so that you can ask them. They’re going to be an expert, they’re going to know their case, they’re going to know the support for their arguments your job is to know as much as they do so that you can ask the pertinent questions and get them on board with some of your philosophies and some of your case themes.
And so, cross examination, again, there’s an old saying in trial work don’t ever ask a question you don’t know the answer to already and the answers are all in the depositions that you take beforehand or the preparation that it takes to get ready for that cross examination beforehand. And so you learn everything there is to know so that when you’re asking those questions on cross you already know the answers before you even ask the question.