In a racketeering and criminal enterprise case involving four (4) top lawyers, it fell upon me to cross examine the cop that was the centerpiece of the state’s case. I knew that was my purpose in being in the case and I made sure that I rose to the occasion. The clients and lawyers were counting on me and I was going to deliver. This is an Excerpt from the Cross of Gray, my cross examination that assisted in obtaining a dismissal in a high profile racketeering case.
In this segment of Killer Cross Examination, you should notice two (2) things: my calling out the witness’ physical reaction to questioning and his ultimate reaction when he was cornered and realized that I had trapped him. These are keys for developing a killer cross examination.
First, witnesses testify with more than just their words — they physically react. Prosecutor’s call out when a witness uses his hands to show a distance or an angle but there is more to be put on the record than angles, etc. One can do what I did and that is — call out the witness’ physical reaction to testifying.
In the Cross of Gray, the penetrating nature of the cross examination caused the witness to tremble. We all saw it and I wanted the record to reflect it. So … I made sure that it did:
Notice how I literally called him on his physical reaction. He was trembling from the pressure that the questions placed on him and I wanted the record to bear that out. This is important and too many lawyers don’t do this. Instead, they’d remember it but never record it.
Additionally, sometimes you trap a witness to such a degree that they utter something that leaves a lasting impression — an admission if you will that they’re done, cooked, etc. When a seasoned cop utters the word “shit” at finding himself in a trap, you know that he’s cooked. This happened in this excerpt of the Cross of Gray:
The witness was cornered. He had literally been trapped in a corner where I had pointed out that his conduct was “a wink” to our client to continue to operate his business and that, contrary to his testimony, he didn’t want to bust him. When he realized he was cornered, he admitted it and then uttered the unthinkable
Killer cross examination is effective and fun (particularly when you make them tremble and swear on the witness stand.)
Enjoy the Dream Cruise.