Occasionally break that rule by using an open-ended question

    1. 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.
  1. 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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