Occasionally break that rule by using an open-ended question
A counsel may ask open-ended questions on cross examination at any time. Doing so, of course, means a loss of control over the witness. This should almost never be used by inexperienced counsel or those not knowing the answers to their propounded questions.
Mix in open-ended questions to break up the pace of the cross-examination. For example, after a series of rapid-fire leading questions that concern a written statement, you might ask, “Where in that statement did you say X?” when you know that the witness never said X in the statement. By using that open-ended question, you create a pause in the action where everyone now has to look at the witness as the witness fumbles through the statement, only to reply, “It isn’t in the statement.”
Listen to the answers. Often those answers are helpful. They may be unexpected concessions, or contain powerful language you did not anticipate.
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