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Cross-Examining the Difficult Witness: Tips for Women Defenders Navigating Gender Dynamics In the Courtroom
By Jennifer Brown
is often the most well-honed, trusted, and useful tool for criminal
defense lawyers. As well as forwarding the theory of the case already
established in voir dire and opening statements, there are times that
cross-examination can serve as a game changer. The vaunted experts who
teach cross-examination always instruct that the cross-examiner is as
much on stage, if not more, as the witness.1
This fact has unique significance for women
practitioners. Although women have made considerable strides in the
legal profession and almost half of the graduates of law school are now
women2, there are nonetheless gender dynamics at play. Therefore, it is
important for women to understand those dynamics and use them to their
advantage. What follows are some standard tips or rules for
cross-examination, with further explanation for practitioners who wish
to explore the gender dynamics.
For basic cross-examination techniques, it is hard to
beat Irving Younge
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