Practice Points: Cross-Examination — It Is All About the Story!

Cross-examination involves storytelling. It is the way counsel tells the true story about the case, the witness, or the event — one question at a time. The object of cross-examination is not simply to discredit the opposing witness, but also to advance the story of the defendant’s case through the opposing witness, and to test the truth of the opponent’s story against the defendant’s story. Jurors do not remember verbatim the answers given by witnesses. They do, however, remember stories.