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March 17, 2006

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Comments

M. Sean Fosmire

For those unusual cases where you cannot think of a non-leading way to pose the desired question, consider the reverse leading question. It's leading, too, but since it tends to help the opposition, she is not likely to object.

As an example: The witness has testified that he was operating a forklift near a gas pump. You want to establish that he tends to work very carefully in that location, but to ask "Were you trying to be extra careful when you were there?" will likely draw an objection. And how do you phrase a neutral question for this scenario? (The question needs to focus the attention of both the witness and the jury on what you are trying to demonstrate.)

Instead, try this:

"Do you operate the forklift in that location just like you would anywhere else?"

Ron Miller

This is really good advice from Sean. Makes perfect sense. I look forward to trying it.

Ron Miller

barbra Allen Barrett

I need more info on cross examining - I am doing a mock trial and am a lawyer

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