SUBJECT: Direct and Cross Examination
Goal:The goal of direct examination is to create testimony that supports your theory of the case. Direct examination is a series of questions designed to give your witness the opportunity to present testimony favorable to your case. On cross examination, your goal is to impeach the credibility of the witness to make it less likely the witness’s testimony should be believed. (I have attached an article from the ABA on effective direct and cross examination.)
This assignment is worth 15 points which is 15% of your final grade. You will
receive individualized feedback in the form of written comments and a rubric.
The breakdown of the grading will be as follows:
Organization & Format:
Prepare direct testimony questions for a witness that will testify favorably for your
case. There are two witnesses, Maggie Martin will testify favorably for the Nursing Board while Sam Smith will testify favorably for the Respondent, Joseph Johnson. In preparing your direct testimony, you should focus on facts that help prove your case. Your questions on direct should be open-ended giving your witness an opportunity to explain her answers using such terms as: when, where, why, how, explain. Open-ended questions give the witness the opportunity to provide more than a yes or no answer and help build credibility for your witnesses. Leading questions are questions where you suggest the answer to your witness; they are generally not permitted on direct but may be used freely on cross examination. You will want to make each
point clear so listen carefully to your witness’s answers. On cross-examination the scope of the questioning is generally much more limited than direct.
The goal of cross examination is to impeach the credibility of the witness. To that extent, you should prepare questions that cause the listener to question the veracity of the witness’s testimony. These are not open-ended questions, they are generally yes or no questions with no opportunity or need for explanation. Cross examination is generally quite limited and focuses on weakness in the witness’s testimony. There are two witnesses in this case. You will write cross examination questions for the witness you do not call for direct examination.
Length: For Direct Examination, you should prepare 3 pages of direct testimony. For Cross Examination, you should prepare one page of cross examination. Your questions should be organized by topical areas.
Format: The questions should be in Times New Roman 12 point font, double-spaced, 1 inch margins with page numbers at the bottom center of each page.