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universal system has long eluded the legal profession. It is not surprising
that some legal commentaries describe cross-examination as an art. When
conducted successfully, something spellbinding seems to spontaneously
and creatively erupt in the courtroom. At its best, cross-examination, like
fine artwork, moves the trier of fact to pre-defined, well-crafted emotional
and intellectual goals. When done without adequate preparation, often
something quite different arises.
Larry Pozner and Roger J. Dodd have recently released the third edition
of their book Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques. Both are experienced
litigators, long recognized experts in this field. Roger J. Dodd has law
firms in four states: Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma and Utah. He litigates a
wide spectrum of cases. In multiple states, he has been recognized as a
Super Lawyer. This is an exceptional accomplishment, achieved by only a
handful of counsel. He has also provided private courses for various government
and private agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Larry Pozner is a founding partner at the prestigious law firm Reilly
Pozner LLP in Denver, Colorado. He is counsel for the Denver Broncos Football
Club and represented AIG during the subprime mortgage crisis. For
many years he has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America. He was a
legal analyst for both the JonBenét Ramsey case and the Oklahoma Bombing
case. He is a distinguished professor. Recently, his firm obtained a $391
million dollar jury verdict against PNC Bank.
On the website of Reilly Pozner LLP, Mr. Pozner writes:
Each case is really a detective story. From the first day we get a case, we
start to work on this story—and how the various pieces fit together—so
we can tell our client’s story to a jury and a judge. At our trials, no one
ever gets bored and loses interest! Preparation is the be-all and end-all.
The behind-the-scenes work (when no one is watching) is what lets you
be good in the courtroom (when everyone is watching). This realization
is a wonderful, magical moment in the life of any courtroom attorney.2
The authors have penned a book better described as a treatise on crossexamination.
All three editions of the book exceed 1,000 pages. The third
edition is 744 pages but includes an e-book that may be purchased separately.
The e-book includes valuable topics such as controlling the crying
Over the years, there have been some ground-breaking achievements
in formulating guidelines for cross-examination.3 It has been decades since
Professor Irving Younger unveiled his ten commandments of cross-
examination.2 In crafting his commandments, Professor Younger considered
cross-examination as a form of guerilla warfare. The cross-examiner
leapt into battle, fighting intensely before retreating suddenly. Damage pre-