The Art Of Cross-Examination: Golden Rules For Examination Of Witnesses
Publish Date: 2015-04-04
Author: Francis L Wellman
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Learn the Secretive Art of Cross-Examination. Tricks and Traps. The Art of Cross-Examination. Golden Rules for Examination of Witnesses by Francis L. Wellman. With the Cross-Examinations of Important Witnesses in Some Celebrated Cases. If all witnesses had the honesty and intelligence to come forward and scrupulously follow the letter as well as the spirit of the oath, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and if all advocates on either side had the necessary experience, combined with honesty and intelligence, and were similarly sworn to develop the whole truth and nothing but the truth, of course there would be no occasion for cross-examination, and the occupation of the cross-examiner would be gone. But as yet no substitute has ever been found for cross-examination as a means of separating truth from falsehood, and of reducing exaggerated statements to their true dimensions. The system is as old as the history of nations. Indeed, to this day, the account given by Plato of Socrates's cross-examination of his accuser, Miletus, while defending himself against the capital charge of corrupting the youth of Athens, may be quoted as a masterpiece in the art of cross-questioning. Cross-examination is generally considered to be the most difficult branch of the multifarious duties of the advocate. Success in the art, as some one has said, comes more often to the happy possessor of a genius for it. Great lawyers have often failed lamentably in it, while marvellous success has crowned the efforts of those who might otherwise have been regarded as of a mediocre grade in the profession. Yet personal experience and the emulation of others trained in the art, are the surest means of obtaining proficiency in this all-important prerequisite of a competent trial lawyer.