Category: Cross Examination

  • “Yes” Sets, Compliance Sets, and Cross-Examination

    A compliance set is a series of instructions (three will do) that you give to your hypnosis subject to establish his physical compliance with your commands. They don’t have to be fancy, but they have to be things that your subject will do: “Put your feet flat on the floor [he’s already doing it]. Rest […]

  • Empathy and Cross-Examination

    I recently had an opportunity to cross-examine a heroin-addict witness who claimed that he had watched my client inject another person with heroin, and then had injected himself. The State’s theory was delivery by injection. The witness denied having participated in the alleged delivery—a crucial point because of Texas’s Accomplice-Witness Rule. My client hadn’t injected […]

  • Cross is Not Supposed to Be Angry

    Via Norm Kent (The Broward Law Blog), a prosecutor loses his cool during cross-examination: Stacey Castor questioned about day her daughter fell ill

  • Complex Questions and Children

    Here is an article (Complex Questions Asked By Defense Lawyers But Not Prosecutors Predicts [sic] Convictions in Child Abuse Trials) from the Journal of Law and Human Behavior describing a study using automated linguistic analysis finding that the complexity of the questions asked by defense counsel in a child sex abuse case predicts the outcome […]

  • Say It. Draw It. Act It.

    Check out Vrij et al., Outsmarting the Liars: The Benefit of Asking Unanticipated Questions (PDF), from Law and Human Behavior (June 2008). Vrij notes that If investigators interview individual suspects once (with no factual information about the case), they tend to rely more on noverbal cues than verbal cues to detect deceit. However, when investigators […]

  • Book Review: Your Witness

    Richard “Racehorse” Haynes is the only person I know who has a nickname for his nickname. He’s “Racehorse” to the world and “Race” (or just “Richard”) to the his “brothers and sisters of the bar”. I mention Richard because there are a very few lawyers — and Richard is one of them — whose tales […]

  • A Cross-Examination Photo

    Sometimes the best you can hope for is for the rope to break.

  • Racehorse Haynes in Trial

    Richard “Racehorse” Haynes is, as we say in Texas, one tough sumbitch. He tried 11 jury trials last year (did you? I sure didn’t), and he’s in trial again now — at age 82. A reader writes: I thought that your readers might like to know that opening statements start tomorrow at 9 am in […]

  • Hit Me Again, Baby!

    Today while cross-examining my client, the prosecutor took two verbal swings at me personally. He suggested that I was responsible for my client’s account of the facts and suggested that I was calling the state’s witnesses liars. What does that mean?

  • The Motorcycle Rule of Cross-Examination

    When cross-examining an unknown witness, you must observe the Motorcycle Rule. This is the rule that kept me alive through years of riding a motorcycle in Houston traffic (for a while, I had no usable car, and rode everywhere). The Motorcycle Rule, for those not familiar with it, is this: They are all out to […]