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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Practice Tip: Questioning a Liar

If you haven't encountered this yet you will, i.e., questioning a liar in a deposition or during trial. A liar's worst enemy is cross-examination. However, can you just declare the witness a liar and expect the jury to believe you? Of course not. So, one may ask: how are you supposed to successfully question a liar? The best way --- the only way --- that I've found to be successful at it is to be prepared. I don't mean know your case inside and out like you're supposed to, you have to have go beyond that and have concrete proof that the witness is lying. You can't attack a witness if you don't have the proof, no matter how bad you want to. Below is a link to an article from the ABA about Bobby Lee Cook. Read the part about his cross-examination of Ms. Kidd in a federal habeas corpus proceeding. This is what I'm referring to when I say that you must be prepared. Here's the link:

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