The Art of Cross-Examination

You know what my mileage last week was?  2.83 km.  Yup, you read it right.  2.83 km for an entire week.  This, after logging 414.937 km in the 12 weeks before that, or an average weekly mileage of 35.57 km. 

Part of the reason for my measly mileage was the ankle injury (as discussed in The Good News) that has been bugging me for the past three weeks.  But for me, the real culprit was work – lots of it – compounded by the fact that last Thursday, I had to deliver a lecture on trial techniques.  Several weeks back, I was asked to be a speaker in the firm’s Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) seminar. Being the crammer that I am, I took my sweet time in preparing for the lecture.  Alas, I worked on my slides and materials only on the day (and night) before the lecture.  Suffice it to say that my efforts left me totally exhausted.  No room even for an easy run over the weekend. 

Anyway, I’d like to share with you my opening remarks, which, sadly was the highlight of the lecture.  🙂

“When my partner Atty. DDL requested me to deliver a lecture on trial techniques, my immediate reaction was, “why me?” Why ask someone in his late 20’s to lecture on trial techniques? (LOL) Trial skills are honed through years of experience. And if we were to go by the number of cases handled or years in litigation, some other members of the litigation department would be more qualified.

In fact, not too long ago, my father, who used to be the head of the litigation department of this firm, asked if the office was going to hold its own MCLE seminar. Apparently, he wanted to get a head start in his requirements for the fourth compliance period. I replied in the affirmative and even told him that I was one of the lecturers. He asked me what I was going to lecture on. I said trial techniques, specifically cross-examination. Then he replied, “What?! You’re going to lecture me on cross-examination?!” I told him with a straight face that he should attend my lecture as he might learn a thing or two. Obviously, he did not take me seriously as he is not here. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Dad.(LOL)

I found out recently that the more senior litigators in the firm begged off from doing this lecture. Hence, you’re stuck with me. Don’t you worry, despite my boyish (good) looks, I actually have 20 years of experience in the field of cross-examination – 10 years in law practice and 10 years of marriage. Imagine being cross-examined by your wife every day for 10 years? I should be an expert by now. However, I do not claim to be an expert and I do not consider this talk as a lecture but more like a sharing session.

As you can see from my outline, I will discuss with you the historical and legal basis of cross-examination, as well as the so-called 10 commandments that every litigator should keep in mind when conducting cross-examination. To illustrate some of the points to be discussed, I will share with you excerpts from transcripts of stenographic notes of trials that I handled.

So sit back and relax, feel free to work or doze off and, hopefully, by the end of my talk, the MCLE monitor over there will agree to give you the full two units for this course.”

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7 Responses to “The Art of Cross-Examination”

  1. Reverend Says:

    Good humour. Hope you can resume your 42k prep.

  2. Teeny Oldie Says:

    Good intro. I could not have done any better. Thanks for mentioning my remarks which were said in jest, knowing that you have acquired at least the minimum experience to lecture on the subject.

  3. JCDC Says:

    I went to RVC’s lecture last Friday. I remember the last time I went to one of his presentations, Daddy was with me I would have gone to yours. 🙂 Nice intro

  4. Dr. Richard Pfaff Says:

    Thank-you for the laugh. I can relate to the years of a wife’s cross examination….. Thanks for what you do!

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