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Transcript of Cross Examination
Give an impression
C-X establishes your credibility in comparison to your opponent so...
- DON'T come across as demanding or argumentative
- Always be honest and fair
- Be polite and smile
Both speakers in C-X always
The Fault in ur Examiners
aka, what you are doing wrong
Don't Characterize Questions
“Isn't that part of your plan vague?"
Goals of the Examination
- Establish your credibility, destroy your opponents
- Gain admission on key facts/agreements
- Clarify issues ONLY when necessary
"Wouldn't it be unjust to allow
juries to nullify laws?"
Don't Ask the Ultimate Question
“Isn't that a contradiction/logical
"Your plan won't fix the problem?"
"So then how are you topical?"
Don't Waste Your Time
"Why does your 3rd Harm matter?"
"Where does your funding come from?"
"Can you sum up your case for me?"
Amazing C-X, how sweet the sound
That saved debates for me!
Ask questions you know the answer to
Rule No. 1 of Cross-Examination:
Ask Leading, Fact-Based Questions that must be answered "Yes" or "No"
If your questions starts with "why", "how", "what if", or "could you explain", it is probably not leading
Find common ground and exploit it
Identify themes and build upon them
Time your questions carefully
The order and pace of your questions could be the difference between a straight answer and a waffly one.
Argue through implicit questions
Don't go for the jugular: subtly hint and suggest to the judge what you want to communicate
Maintain control of the examination
Holding the weasel -
"We'll get to that in a moment"
"I understand, but..."
Break down questions for the quibbler
Remember, the other side can't argue or quibble about something they've already agreed with
Trap them in an dilemma
The ultimate win in a Cross-Examination is to ask a question that will hurt their side no matter how they answer.
Goals of the Examination:
- Show a distinct contrast between you and your opponent
- Frustrate your opponents attempts to gain information
- Hold up your position under questioning
Much Ado About Cross-Examination
Lines of questioning are not necessarily sequential
Exploit Poor Technique
- You are allowed to use their
- Take opportunities to
bolster your case
- But be reasonable - keep your credibility
Time Answers Carefully
- Preface answers to "Yes" or "No"
- Don't ramble your answers -
is the key.
Maintain Good Demeanor
- Your demeanor communicates to the
judge just how much control you have
- Remain focused - even if you feel
flustered, just smile and answer calmly
- If the other side is killing you, the judge
will notice less if you seem to be doing well
If you follow these steps, they will come easily
"So you think race bias isn't important for justice?"
None of these techniques work if you are not likable!!!
DO THE STUFF AND YOU WILL HAVE THE POWER