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53 votes

Is a lawyer allowed to "rescue" his witness on redirect, and if so, when?

This is pretty much the entire purpose of a redirect, and almost always permissible. If your witness has given an unhelpfully incomplete answer, it is not just "advisable" to ask those ...
bdb484's user avatar
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26 votes
Accepted

Can a defendant remain silent (invoke 5th amendment) during cross examination?

No, a defendant may not remain silent on cross-examination. Witnesses who voluntarily testify in their own defense are subject to cross-examination on that testimony. In Fitzpatrick v. United States, ...
bdb484's user avatar
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14 votes

How do prosecutors prepare to cross-examine defendants?

I'd imagine that testimony from the defendant is rare enough that in the majority of cases, prosecutors do not meaningfully prepare for a cross examination. To the extent they do, I'd expect the ...
bdb484's user avatar
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13 votes
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Is cross examination strictly confined to the subjects that the original examination pertained to, or can the opposing party make their own points?

On cross-examination any relevant questions can be asked. It is re-examination that is confined to clarifying whatever new questions/issues were raised during cross.
Greendrake's user avatar
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9 votes

How do prosecutors prepare to cross-examine defendants?

I'm not familiar with criminal court procedure, but in a civil case the most common approach I've seen and used is: Go through both sides' statements of case (whether or not that includes a defence) ...
JBentley's user avatar
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7 votes

Is character assassination of witnesses allowed?

It is allowed to introduce evidence that impeaches the credibility or reliability of a witness, which could include his previous 5 convictions for perjury. This does not constitute "character ...
user6726's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

What determines the order in which witnesses testify?

The prosecution chooses the order of its witnesses and must present all of its witnesses before the defense presents its witnesses, and the defense chooses the order of its witnesses. The parties can ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
5 votes

Can counterpart's counsel be cross-examined on the validity/merit of their arguments, or only witnesses?

In the united-states, attorneys are almost never placed under oath. Their statements -- whether they are assertions of fact or legal arguments -- are not evidence, and they are not subject to cross ...
bdb484's user avatar
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5 votes
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What are the limits to "cross examination?"

In the United States, different jurisdictions have different rules about what topics may be addressed in cross examination. In the federal courts, Fed. R. Evid. 611 generally discourages cross ...
bdb484's user avatar
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4 votes

To what extent can you be cross examined for "showing," rather than "telling" about a crime?

The situation you describe is extremely unlikely First, you will have been required to give a statement to the police who would have asked you most or all of the questions that you suggest before ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
4 votes

Are there "eggshell skull" issues involved in lawyering?

A case for negligence or some other tort would likely never reach the stage where we could answer this question, as lawyers are generally immune from suit for their litigation conduct. I don't know of ...
bdb484's user avatar
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4 votes
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Does a witness admit perjury by testifying a different story on retrial?

Bob should certainly expect to be impeached by whichever side his testimony injures. Their attorney will confront him with the transcript of his previous testimony, and likely read it out loud for the ...
bdb484's user avatar
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4 votes
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Can a retrial admit evidence given in the original trial?

Yes - all evidence needs to undergo evaluation If there is ground for a Retrial or New Trial on the lower court level, that starts everything in the trial from 0. The whole matter is looked at de novo,...
Trish's user avatar
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4 votes

Is character assassination of witnesses allowed?

Essentially, this is allowed if the line of questioning is relevant to the case at hand. For example, if the suspect of a crime is Jewish, then the identifying witness's support of a neo-Nazi ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 23k
4 votes

Can a defendant remain silent (invoke 5th amendment) during cross examination?

Perhaps. This article addresses the balance between the 5th Amendment protection against compelled self-incrimination, and the Confrontation Clause of the 6th Amendment. For example, a defense witness ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
3 votes
Accepted

Can counterpart's counsel be cross-examined on the validity/merit of their arguments, or only witnesses?

Counsel do not give evidence As such, they are not subject to the rules of evidence including cross-examination. When they argue to law they are making submissions, not giving evidence. In general, a ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
3 votes

Can counterpart's counsel be cross-examined on the validity/merit of their arguments, or only witnesses?

Only witnesses are cross-examined. See various rules of procedure: e.g. Ontario, British Columbia. The procedure for responding to counsel submissions of their legal arguments is to make submissions ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 57.4k
2 votes

Can a defendant remain silent (invoke 5th amendment) during cross examination?

As noted, in a criminal trial the defendant, having voluntarily taken the stand in his own defense, is deemed to have waived (given up) his right to the protections of the Fifth Amendment, and must ...
Dave A's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes

How do prosecutors prepare to cross-examine defendants?

The answer is most likely "learn some basic interrogation techniques, have a good memory, and be able to think on your feet." Of course the prosecutor will have pre-loaded his/her own memory ...
alephzero's user avatar
  • 447
2 votes
Accepted

Witness credibility questions on cross-examination

The Privy Council recently summarised the common law in relation to cross-examination on credit, in Clarke v The State [2021] UKPC 16 at [40]: At common law, therefore, the judge had a discretion to ...
sjy's user avatar
  • 9,188
2 votes

Witness credibility questions on cross-examination

In the United States, this would be pretty uncontroversial as a legal matter. A witness's bias speaks to his credibility, and the general rule is that a witness's credibility is always relevant. Dan ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 60.4k
1 vote

Are there "eggshell skull" issues involved in lawyering?

“Eggshell skull” comes into play if you do something that is illegal, but the effect is much worse than you would expect due to the nature of the victim. For example, you punch someone not very hard, ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 34.2k
1 vote

Are there "eggshell skull" issues involved in lawyering?

While I would say that I would find issue with the line of questioning about the man's feelings on interratial romance, this line of questioning would be objectional not illegal or negligent. There ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 23k
1 vote

What are the limits to "cross examination?"

To what extent is cross examination limited only to subjects brought up in direct examination? Can the cross examiner dig into a bunch of background issues in a witness' past to prove bad character or ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
1 vote

What are the limits to "cross examination?"

Cross-examination is not limited to matters canvassed in examination in chief However, testimony under cross-examination is still evidence and is subject to the same admissibility rules as all other ...
Dale M's user avatar
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