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How to Cross Examine an Expert Witness – Cross-Examination

Criminal Defense Attorney, Michael Waddington, the author of Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA & Biological Evidence: A Trial Strategy and Resource Guide, discusses How to Cross Examine an Expert Witness and why it can be intimidating.

Cross-Examination Tips for Military Court Martials

When the lawyer for the plaintiff or the government has finished questioning a witness, the lawyer for the defendant may then cross-examine the witness. Cross-examination is generally limited to questioning only on matters that were raised during direct examination.

In the United States federal Courts, a cross-examining attorney is typically not permitted to ask questions that do not pertain to the testimony offered during direct examination. Still, most state courts permit a lawyer to cross-examine a witness on matters not raised during direct examination. Similarly, courts in England, South Africa, Australia, and Canada allow a cross-examiner to exceed the scope of direct examination.

Since a witness called by the opposing party is presumed to be hostile, cross-examination does permit leading questions. A witness called by a direct examiner, on the other hand, may only be treated as hostile by that examiner after being permitted to do so by the judge, at the request of that examiner and as a result of the witness being openly antagonistic and/or prejudiced against the party that called them.

Cross-Examination Techniques - Controlling Hostile Witnesses On Cross

Cross-examination techniques – controlling difficult witnesses on cross-examination Infographic

Cross-Examination (Book): Pattern Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses: A Trial Strategy & Resource Guide

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Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA & Biological Evidence: A Trial Strategy and Resource Guide

Ucmjarticle120694 Gonzalez &Amp; Waddington - Attorneys At Law

By Michael Waddington, Alexandra González-Waddington, and Dean Wideman, MSc – In a criminal trial, cross-examination of the prosecution’s DNA expert may make the difference between victory or defeat. Prosecutors often use faulty biological evidence, biased experts, and incompetent investigators to win convictions.

Some DNA experts will do whatever it takes, including misleading jurors and misapplying scientific research to bolster the prosecution’s case. For the sake of justice, defense lawyers must be able to cross-examine and nullify DNA experts effectively. This book will help defense lawyers neutralize such experts and assist in scoring points when cross-examining forensic experts in cases involving DNA and biological evidence.

This resource contains thousands of questions that will help defense lawyers cross-examine challenging witnesses without reinventing the wheel with each new case. It includes pattern questions that can dominate prosecution DNA experts and level the playing field at trial. The sample cross-examination questions can be easily modified and used in a variety of cases. The questions provided serve as a starting point. Because every case is different, the cross-examiner should modify the questions based on the facts of their case.

This Trial Guide is not a textbook on the theories of cross-examination. Instead, it provides sample questions based on fact patterns commonly encountered when dealing with DNA and biological evidence in various trials.

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