Breaking The Rules: 3 Ways To 'Lead' A Direct Examination
By Matthew Menchel, Jonathan Cogan and Rebecca Mangold (October 25, 2018, 12:03 PM EDT) -- Whether it is in trial advocacy classes or prosecutor or public defenders' offices, virtually all novice trial lawyers are taught the same rules of direct examination. They are taught to start almost every question with one of the following words: who, what, why, when, where, how, describe or explain. They are taught that the role of the direct examiner is to stay out of the witness' way and "let the witness tell the story." Indeed, they are frequently taught that they should appear invisible and that their job is merely to prompt the witness to start speaking....
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