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Julian Baker
Julian Baker

How Pozner and Dodd's Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques Can Help You Win Your Case



# Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques - A Book Review - Introduction - What is cross-examination and why is it important for trial lawyers? - What are the main features and benefits of the book Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques by Pozner and Dodd? - What is the purpose and scope of this review? - Chapter 1: Philosophy and Overview of the Science - How do Pozner and Dodd define cross-examination as a science with established guidelines, identifiable techniques, and definable methods? - What are the three goals of cross-examination according to the authors? - What are the four principles of cross-examination that guide the authors' approach? - Chapter 2: Cross-Examination-Focused Investigation - How do Pozner and Dodd emphasize the importance of a fact-driven investigation to develop a winning theory of the case? - What are the sources of facts that can be used for cross-examination? - How do Pozner and Dodd recommend organizing and analyzing the facts for cross-examination purposes? - Chapter 3: Cross-Examination Preparation System - How do Pozner and Dodd introduce the "chapter method" of cross-examination as a way to structure and sequence the questions for each witness? - What are the advantages of using the chapter method over other methods of cross-examination? - How do Pozner and Dodd explain the use of "loops" and "double loops" to reinforce key phrases and terms in successive questions? - Chapter 4: Sequences of Cross-Examination - How do Pozner and Dodd illustrate various sequences of cross-examination that can be used to achieve different objectives, such as teaching, discrediting, impeaching, or controlling a witness? - What are some examples of sequences that can be used to deal with specific types of witnesses, such as experts, liars, or evasive witnesses? - How do Pozner and Dodd advise on using primacy and recency effects to enhance the impact of cross-examination? - Chapter 5: The Relationship of Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross-Examination, and Closing Argument - How do Pozner and Dodd demonstrate the interrelationship of opening statement, direct examination, cross-examination, and closing argument as parts of a coherent trial strategy? - How do Pozner and Dodd suggest using opening statement to set up the themes and theories that will be developed in cross-examination? - How do Pozner and Dodd recommend using direct examination to support and complement cross-examination? - How do Pozner and Dodd propose using closing argument to summarize and highlight the results of cross-examination? - Chapter 6: Cross Preparation Systems: Sourcing the Facts - How do Pozner and Dodd address the challenges and opportunities of electronic discovery and evolving admissibility standards for cross-examination? - How do Pozner and Dodd introduce a system for sourcing the facts from electronic or paper documents that can be used to inform a witness and the court about the material being used for cross-examination? - How do Pozner and Dodd explain the use of demonstrative exhibits, such as charts, graphs, or diagrams, to enhance cross-examination? - Conclusion - What are the main takeaways from the book Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques by Pozner and Dodd? - How can trial lawyers benefit from applying the techniques and methods presented in the book to their own practice? - What are some limitations or challenges of using the book as a guide for cross-examination? Here is the article based on that outline: # Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques - A Book Review Cross-examination is one of the most crucial skills for any trial lawyer. It is the process of questioning a witness who is adverse or hostile to your case, with the aim of eliciting favorable facts, exposing weaknesses or inconsistencies, or undermining credibility. Cross-examination can make or break a case, depending on how well it is executed. However, cross-examination is not an art that relies on intuition or charisma. It is a science that can be learned, practiced, and mastered. This is the main message of the book *Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques* by Larry Pozner and Roger Dodd. The book is widely regarded as one of the best resources on cross-examination for trial lawyers. It offers a comprehensive and systematic approach to cross-examination, based on decades of experience and research by the authors, who are recognized as leading experts and teachers in the field. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview and evaluation of the book, focusing on its main features, benefits, and limitations. The review will follow the structure of the book, which is divided into six chapters, each covering a different aspect of cross-examination. The review will also highlight some of the examples and illustrations that the authors use to demonstrate their techniques and methods in action. ## Chapter 1: Philosophy and Overview of the Science In the first chapter, Pozner and Dodd define cross-examination as a science with established guidelines, identifiable techniques, and definable methods. They argue that cross-examination is not a matter of luck or talent, but a skill that can be improved with study and practice. They also emphasize that cross-examination is not an isolated event, but a part of a coherent trial strategy that starts with a fact-driven investigation and ends with a persuasive closing argument. According to Pozner and Dodd, the three goals of cross-examination are: - To teach the jury the facts that support your theory of the case - To discredit or impeach the witness or the opposing party - To control the witness and prevent him or her from doing damage to your case To achieve these goals, Pozner and Dodd propose four principles of cross-examination that guide their approach: - Lead the witness: Use leading questions that suggest the answer and require only a yes or no response from the witness - Use one new fact per question: Avoid compound or complex questions that contain more than one fact or idea - Break cross-examination into manageable chapters: Organize and sequence your questions into logical units that focus on one topic or theme at a time - Always adapt to the witness: Be flexible and responsive to the witness's behavior, demeanor, and answers These principles form the foundation of Pozner and Dodd's cross-examination system, which they explain and illustrate in more detail in the following chapters. ## Chapter 2: Cross-Examination-Focused Investigation In the second chapter, Pozner and Dodd emphasize the importance of a fact-driven investigation to develop a winning theory of the case. They explain that a theory of the case is a concise statement that summarizes what happened, why it happened, who is responsible, and what relief is sought. A theory of the case should be consistent with the facts, supported by the law, and persuasive to the jury. To develop a theory of the case, Pozner and Dodd recommend conducting a thorough investigation of all the sources of facts that can be used for cross-examination. These sources include: - Statements: Written or oral statements made by witnesses, parties, or experts - Depositions: Sworn testimony taken before trial - Reports: Official or unofficial documents that contain factual information or opinions - Records: Business or personal records that show transactions, activities, or events - Physical evidence: Tangible objects or materials that are relevant to the case - Demonstrative evidence: Charts, graphs, diagrams, models, or other visual aids that illustrate or explain facts or concepts Pozner and Dodd advise organizing and analyzing these facts for cross-examination purposes using two tools: - The fact matrix: A table that lists all the facts relevant to the case in chronological order, along with their sources and credibility - The chapter chart: A table that lists all the chapters (topics or themes) for each witness's cross-examination, along with their objectives and facts These tools help trial lawyers identify the strengths and weaknesses of their case, as well as plan and prepare their cross-examination questions. ## Chapter 3: Cross-Examination Preparation System In the third chapter, Pozner and Dodd introduce the "chapter method" of cross-examination as a way to structure and sequence the questions for each witness. The chapter method involves breaking down cross-examination into manageable units that focus on one topic or theme at a time. Each chapter has a title that summarizes its objective, such as "The Witness Lied About His Credentials" or "The Witness Did Not Follow The Standard Procedure". Each chapter also has an introduction that sets up the topic and alerts the jury to its importance, such as "Now I want to talk to you about your credentials" or "Let's turn to how you performed your test". The chapter method has several advantages over other methods of cross-examination, such as: - It helps trial lawyers organize their thoughts and questions in a logical and coherent way - It helps trial lawyers avoid irrelevant or redundant questions that waste time and lose focus - It helps trial lawyers control the pace and direction of cross-examination by moving from one chapter to another - It helps trial lawyers communicate their theory of the case to the jury by highlighting key facts and themes - It helps trial lawyers adapt to changing circumstances by adding, deleting, or rearranging chapters as needed ## Chapter 4: Sequences of Cross-Examination In the fourth chapter, Pozner and Dodd illustrate various sequences of cross-examination that can be used to achieve different objectives, such as teaching, discrediting, impeaching, or controlling a witness. A sequence is a series of questions that follow a logical order and lead to a desired conclusion. Pozner and Dodd provide examples of sequences that can be used to: - Teach the jury the facts that support your theory of the case by using leading questions that elicit yes or no answers from the witness - Discredit or impeach the witness by using prior inconsistent statements, admissions against interest, or contradictions with other evidence - Control the witness by using short questions that limit the witness's ability to explain, evade, or volunteer information - Deal with specific types of witnesses, such as experts, liars, or evasive witnesses, by using double loops, silence, or rhetorical questions Pozner and Dodd also advise on using primacy and recency effects to enhance the impact of cross-examination. Primacy means that people tend to remember the first thing they hear or see better than the later things. Recency means that people tend to remember the last thing they hear or see better than the earlier things. Therefore, Pozner and Dodd suggest starting and ending each chapter with strong questions that emphasize your main points. ## Chapter 5: The Relationship of Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross-Examination, and Closing Argument In the fifth chapter, Pozner and Dodd demonstrate the interrelationship of opening statement, direct examination, cross-examination, and closing argument as parts of a coherent trial strategy. They explain how each part can be used to support and complement cross-examination in different ways: - Opening statement: Pozner and Dodd suggest using opening statement to set up the themes and theories that will be developed in cross-examination. They recommend telling a story that captures the jury's attention and interest, and previewing what the witnesses will say and how they will be cross-examined. - Direct examination: Pozner and Dodd recommend using direct examination to support and complement cross-examination by eliciting facts that corroborate your theory of the case, undermine the opposing party's theory of the case, or anticipate and neutralize potential attacks on your witnesses. - Closing argument: Pozner and Dodd propose using closing argument to summarize and highlight the results of cross-examination by reminding the jury of what each witness said and did not say, how they were discredited or impeached, and how their testimony supported your theory of the case. Pozner and Dodd also provide examples of how to use these parts effectively in different types of cases, such as criminal defense, personal injury, or contract disputes. ## Chapter 6: Cross Preparation Systems: Sourcing the Facts In the sixth chapter, Pozner and Dodd address the challenges and opportunities of electronic discovery and evolving admissibility standards for cross-examination. They explain how electronic discovery has changed the way lawyers obtain, organize, and use information for cross-examination. They also discuss how admissibility standards have become more flexible and favorable for cross-examination purposes. To deal with these changes, Pozner and Dodd introduce a system for sourcing the facts from electronic or paper documents that can be used to inform a witness and the court about the material being used for cross-examination. The system involves: - Identifying the source document by its title, date, author, recipient, or other identifying information - Locating the relevant portion of the document by its page number, paragraph number, line number, or other identifying information - Reading or showing the relevant portion of the document to the witness - Asking a leading question based on the relevant portion of the document Pozner and Dodd also explain how to use demonstrative exhibits, such as charts, graphs, diagrams, models, or other visual aids, to enhance cross-examination. They advise on how to design, prepare, introduce, use, and store demonstrative exhibits for maximum effect. ## Conclusion identifiable techniques, and definable methods. The book covers various aspects of cross-examination, such as: - The philosophy and overview of the science - The cross-examination-focused investigation - The cross-examination preparation system - The sequences of cross-examination - The relationship of opening statement, direct examination, cross-examination, and closing argument - The cross preparation systems: sourcing the facts The book also provides numerous examples and illustrations of how to apply the techniques and methods in different types of cases and situations. The book is written in a conversational, engaging, and easy-to-read style that makes it accessible and enjoyable for readers. Trial lawyers can benefit from reading and applying the book to their own practice by learning how to: - Conduct a thorough and fact-driven investigation to develop a winning theory of the case - Organize and sequence their questions using the chapter method and loops - Achieve different objectives with different sequences of cross-examination - Support and complement cross-examination with opening statement, direct examination, and closing argument - Source the facts from electronic or paper documents and use demonstrative exhibits effectively However, the book also has some limitations or challenges that readers should be aware of. For example: - The book is based on the authors' experience and research in the United States, so some of the techniques and methods may not be applicable or appropriate in other jurisdictions or legal systems - The book is not a substitute for actual practice and feedback, so readers should not rely on it alone but seek opportunities to hone their skills in real or simulated trials - The book is not a comprehensive guide to all aspects of trial advocacy, so readers should supplement it with other resources on topics such as jury selection, evidence, ethics, or persuasion Overall, the book *Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques* by Pozner and Dodd is a must-read for trial lawyers who want to master the art and science of cross-examination. It is a practical and insightful guide that can help lawyers achieve successful trial outcomes with careful preparation, calculated strategy, effective skills, and a disciplined demeanor. ## FAQs Here are some frequently asked questions about the book *Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques* by Pozner and Dodd: Q: Who are the authors of the book? A: Larry Pozner and Roger Dodd are nationally recognized trial lawyers, lecturers, and authors who have taught cross-examination to thousands of attorneys worldwide. They are also co-founders of The National College of DUI Defense. Q: What edition of the book is this review based on? A: This review is based on the third edition of the book, which was published in 2018 by LexisNexis. The third edition is an extensive revision and reorganization of the previous editions, with new views, examples, and formats. Q: How can I get a copy of the book? A: You can order a print or ebook copy of the book from LexisNexis Store or Amazon. You can also access an online version of the book through LexisNexis Digital Library. Q: How long is the book? A: The book has 744 pages in print format and 1010 pages in ebook format. It has six chapters, each with several subchapters. Q: How can I learn more about cross-examination from Pozner and Dodd? A: You can visit their website at www.pozneranddodd.com to find out more about their seminars, webinars, podcasts, articles, videos, and other resources on cross-examination.




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