WHEN DURING CROSS DO YOU IMPEACH WITH A PRIOR INCONSISTENT STATEMENT?

Rarely is a cross-examination limited to an attack on credibility – there are often multiple goals which may include eliciting positive/supportive facts and ultimately telling or reinforcing the ‘story’ the witness’ examiner is presenting. The recognition of multiple goals of cross-examination is nothing new.  Despite early emphasis on cross-examination as being needed to expose “mendacity,”

OPENING STATEMENT ADVICE

The below advice was developed for a lecture to Temple trial team members as work to ‘up our game’ in various aspects of courtroom advocacy.  The advice, with minimal modification, is also useful for practicing attorneys.   Why concentrate on the opening statement? It is where we are judged first, and our performance shapes how

Challenging Outdated Technology in Court and the Marketplace

The below article is a guest-authored pice to which the host of this BLOG contributed.  It identifies advances in two areas of science and raises concerns of what the consequences may be when science and technology advance but courts, attorneys and the marketplace don’t immediately catch up. Technology pervades virtually every aspect of modern American

“INNOCENT” OR “CAN’T BE SURE WHAT HAPPENED?” – – SCOTT TUROW AND THE CLOSING ARGUMENT

It is conventional wisdom that a story of actual innocence – there was no crime, the wrong person is on trial, the accused acted in self-defense – is the preferred modality in criminal cases.  Why?  An argument of ‘they can’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt’ may come across like a schoolyard taunt – my

COLLECTIVE WISDOM: WHETHER TO OBJECT TO THE NOT-SO-QUALIFIED EXPERT

It is rare if ever that a proffered expert will be deemed so unqualified as to be precluded from testifying.  Why?  The threshold for expertise is decidedly low.  To use the Pennsylvania test, “[t]o qualify as an expert witness, a witness need only have a reasonable pretension to specialized knowledge, on a subject for which expert