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 […]

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 […]

Fun Friday | Two Excerpts From A Masterpiece Cross Examination Of A Seasoned Cop

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 […]

Establishing Bias Of An Informant With Active Listening – In The Moment

I’ve always preached that you have to be “in the moment” when cross examining a witness.  While its okay to have notes and an outline, you must listen to the witness in real time and react to what he/she says.  In a recent case in which I cross examined an informant, the witness let slip […]

Punch Them In The Face | Right Back At ‘Em Cross Examination Of An Expert

  He had just finished testifying for the prosecutor, offering an opinion that a certain amount of marijuana was being possessed for sale and delivery purposes rather than for personal consumption.  His reasoning was circular: It was the quantity.  The amount.  Mostly the amount.  What about it? Well, the amount… He continued to repeat that […]

A Look At Attorney James “Jim” Amberg’s Cross Examination Of An Informant

There’s a popular saying about how there are different ways to do something.  For example, there’s more than 1 way to skin a cat. In essence this sayings means that there are different ways to express the same sentiment or thought: different people have different ways to doing the same thing and both ways may […]

Criminal Defense Attorney Rockind’s Cross Examination “Shakes Up” A Cop

Shaken Up.  A cop reported to the officer in charge of a case that my cross examination of him “shook him up.” His description sounded like he had been “hypnotized” in a way. I kid you not! The cross examination really shook me up. This is one of the greatest testaments to my style of […]

DUI Cross: The ABC Test Is Ridiculous

For years, police officers have used the “ABC’s” or alphabet test as a means of drunk driving or intoxicated driving detection. Cops can be heard doing the following:  Say the alphabet from A to T or say but don’t sing the alphabet.  There is no science behind this test as a means of detecting drunk […]