Lessons on Cross-Examination

In Your Witness, Sam Adam shares eight lessons from a lifetime as a Cook County criminal lawyer.

1) Look at the trial itself as an entity rather than as a collection of witnesses. Remember that the ultimate purpose of cross-examination is to get those gold nuggets for closing argument. Know every fact about the case – and perhaps especially your opponent’s case – before you plan your cross-examination. This should usually include viewing the scene. A well-prepared lawyer who has a superior knowledge of the facts has an enormous advantage going on.

Your Witness: Lessons on Cross-Examination and Life From the Great Chicago Trial Lawyers is published by Law Bulletin Publishing Company, 2008.