120 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 78 PART 1 JANUARY 2020
of a courtroom, litigation war became the new public spectacle. Litigators
were soldiers of justice. In that battle, words were wielded by them as
swords. This approach cast a lawyer as a hired mercenary. The legal profession
has become tormented as a result. Many members are plagued
by symptoms experienced by soldiers: post-traumatic stress disorder,
depression, anxiety, etc. The authors contend that such a state of affairs is
By placing more emphasis or importance on the teaching aspect of a litigator’s
function, performance is greatly enhanced. The impact on our
clients may be profound. And this is particularly important as the courts
have been entrusted to make decisions concerning every important facet of
our lives. Much of the reason for this trust is the confidence that cross-examination
will unveil the truth and hence guide how justice may best serve the
parties to the dispute.
Some of the common criticisms of the book are that it could have been
shorter, that it is an academic guide rather than a useful tool for the practitioner
and that it presents a system that is too time-consuming to practically
rely upon. But to its credit, it is an easy read, and it outlines techniques that
are easy to follow. It lays out a comprehensive system that, when applied
comprehensively, achieves long-term, concrete results. Despite its shortcomings,
this book truly is one of the leading books in its field. It is well
worth the read for any practitioner venturing into the courtroom.
1. Acknowledgement is given to Sebastian Elias of High
Road Academy for his important contribution of
ideas when preparing this review.
2. Online: <www.rplaw.com/about-us/>.
3. Professor Younger’s ten commandments are:
1. Be brief.
2. Short questions, plain words.
3. Leading questions only.
4. Don’t ask a question unless you already know
5. Listen to the witness’s answers.
6. Don’t quarrel with the witness.
7. Don’t allow the witness to repeat his direct
8. Don’t allow the witness to explain anything.
9. Don’t ask the “one question too many”.
10. Save the ultimate point of your cross for