Cross-Examination Principles

Cross-examination does not have to be combative, yet at times it can and should be. With each question, lawyers are testing the validity of the witness and the content of the testimony. Questions should not be wasted. Each should have a purpose and advance the objective of the examination. More than any other sector of trial law, cross-examinations win or lose most criminal trials. Veteran defense attorney Richard Jaffe discusses 10 principles of cross-examination and the challenges that may arise.