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The Champion

May/June 2008 , Page 69 

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Book Reviews: Your Witness: Lessons on Cross-Examination And Life From Great Chicago Trial Lawyers and In the Shadow of Death: Restorative Justice and Death Row Families and Witness Testimony

By Judge Jed S. Rackoff; William R. Montross Jr.; Peter W. Tague

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Your Witness: Lessons on Cross-Examination And Life From Great Chicago Trial Lawyers

Steven F. Molo and James R. Figliulo, Editors
Law Bulletin Publishing (2008)
Reviewed by Judge Jed S. Rakoff

The best cross-examiner I know is my wife. I used to think this was because I provided her with such good material to cross-examine. But, after reading this book, I know it is really because she was born and raised in Chicago.

In an era when the number of trials have materially lessened, Chicago lawyers still try cases, and, as this book proves, they are darn good at it. The book — nicely edited by two of the contributors, Steven F. Molo and James R. Figliulo — comprises 50 chapters in which 50 of Chicago’s very best trial lawyers describe some of their (or their mentors’) greatest moments of cross-examination and seek to draw from them some lessons on how to perfect the cross-examiner’s skills.

Essentially, these are “war stories” of the kind trial lawyers love to tell,

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