Cornering The Witness In A Deposition | Vince Colella Delivers A Killer Cross

While we criminal defense lawyers seem to have reason to conduct the most cross examinations, once in a while one of our brothers and sisters in the personal injury/civil litigation field conduct a meaningful cross examination that warrants mention.  I’ve seen my longtime peer Geoffrey Fieger do it.  Gerry Spence too.  Both have cross examined […]

Cornering The Witness/Informant

We just finished two (2) long trials.  Both involved difficult facts and difficult circumstances.  And both involved informants or cooperating witnesses testifying for the prosecution.  Cross examining a cooperator or informant is not for the feint of heart … it requires listening, persistence, patience, wit and a plan or attack.  Some lawyers just want to […]

Listening And Watching – Use All Your Senses

I’ve often watched lawyers in trial frantically writing down whatever the witness is testifying to on direct examination.  The lawyer writes the witnesses answers on one side of a piece of paper and then writes comments on the other side.  Head down, face buried in his/her pad, pen frantically writing, the lawyer thinks that he’s […]

“When the witness is digging himself a hole, keep the shovel in his hands”

Killer Cross Examination Snippet from P v Morrow “When the witness is digging himself a hole, keep the shovel in his hands” The informant took the stand to attempt to finish his “work” for the Straits Area Narcotics Enforcement (SANE) drug team. He thought he’d be cagey and try to argue with me as I […]

Twisting Them Up

Once in a while, if the cross examine is persistent enough, a witness just loses his cool.  The witness, pressed for information by a dogged cross examiner, becomes impatient and reveals that he is just not believable by answering a question defiantly and nonsensically.   A killer cross examination can reveal a witness to be […]

Memory

Sometimes, you catch a witness testifying so vaguely on details and so similarly to their statement or police report that it seems like the witness has no independent recollection of the events.  A killer cross examination can expose this witness’ attempt to testify without an adequate memory or recollection. In a recent drug case, I […]

You’re Holding My Pen: Proving A Point During A Cross Examination

The Phone It was quite a sight.  The seasoned police detective had been on the witness stand for awhile.  He had testified on direct examination and been cross examined for a while by several lawyers.  The “the pen” happened.   “The pen” is one of those moments that makes the courtroom stand still and it […]

The Power Of Good Cross – Judge And Cop Had Private Conversation Before Affidavit Sworn

Bad cross examination wastes time and typically sinks the client further into the abyss. Good cross examination however is revealing… It reveals facts, motives, biases and errors that would otherwise be covered up or overlooked.  Today, a good cross examination exposed the blurred lines between the judiciary and the police, a frequently occurring phenomenon as […]

I’m Not Going To Be Cross Examined By “That” Lawyer

So the worst kept secret in Michigan is out:  it is not fun to be cross examined by me.  Not fun at all.  I wouldn’t compare it to getting one’s teeth pulled.  However, I would compare it to trying to out punch your shadow.  Trying to fend me off is tiring and usually pointless.  It […]