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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Patience, My Friend – How Being Patient, Actively Listening And Cornering A Witness Reveals A Lie

Be patient, son. How many times have I heard that phrase in my life?  How many times have I said that to others?  Many.  Likely too many to recall and too many to count.  Yes, patience is a virtue but I’m not a patient person.  However, a killer cross examination requires patience and more — […]

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 […]

A Comment On My Cross Examination Style

Killer Cross Examination.  Yes, that is my style. Not fire breathing. Not screaming. Not pounding the table. Real, methodical, surgical cross examination that points out the lack of candor by a witness.  This is what people think of when they they think of a killer cross examination: This is what a killer cross really looks […]

“Actions Speak Louder Than Words” – A Recent Killer Cross Examination – “The Cross of Gray”

A theme can make all the difference between a rayood cross examination and a killer cross examination.  Our them was “actions speak louder than words.”  This is the story of the cross examination of a seasoned officer based on a theme of “actions speak louder than words.” The hearing in the racketeering case began on […]