Create better control of your cross-examination of any witness, including experts, with trial-proven
techniques from cross-examination titans Larry Pozner and Roger Dodd.
In the latest edition of Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques, Pozner & Dodd walk through the art
of cross examination to guide attorneys when preparing their cross, their witness charts and topic
charts. They explain the difference between constructive and destructive cross, identify effective
impeachment techniques and show how to make your cross advance your theory of the case.
The Top 3 Rules of Cross-Examination
1. Leading Questions Only
The Federal Rules of Evidence and the rules of evidence of all states permit leading questions on cross
(Fed. R. Evid. 611(c)). Simultaneously, the right to use leading questions is almost wholly denied the
direct examiner. This is the fundamentally distinguishing factor of cross. It is the critical advantage given
us that must always be pressed. Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques, Third Edition §10.11
2. One New Fact Per Question
By placing only a single new fact before a witness, the witness’s ability to evade is dramatically
diminished. Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques, Third Edition §10.24
3. Break Cross Into a Series of Logical Progressions to Each Specific Factual Goal
Cross of a witness is not a monolithic exercise. Instead, the cross of any witness is a series of factual
goal-oriented exercises. The third technique of the only three rules of cross is to break the cross into
separate and definable goals. Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques, Third Edition §10.47
What Is Cross-Examination?
A cross examination is the formal interrogation of a witness called by the other party in a court of law to
challenge or extend testimony already given.
According to the American Bar Association, when a lawyer for the plaintiff or the government has
finished questioning a witness, the lawyer for the defendant may then cross-examine the witness.
Cross-examination is generally limited to questioning only on matters that were raised during direct
Opposing counsel may object to certain questions asked on cross-examination if the questions violate
the state's laws on evidence or if they relate to matters not discussed during direct examination.