, 18 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Why do -0- Congresscritters know how to efficiently examine and cross-examine witnesses?

Look, I will gladly discount my fee and *come teach y'all* if it will help improve these God-awful spectacles
But that's why they have staff! They could easily higher the Ivy-est of Ivy grads to train them if they cared

That list would take all day 😂

Basically –

Direct Qs: short, starting who / what / when / where / how

Cross Qs: very short, worded so that the only possible answer is "yes" or "no," and phrased in a way that doesn't reaffirm points that hurt your case

On direct, you ask open-ended questions so the witness can be the star of the show, since they're the one helping your case.

On cross, the inquisitor is the "star" but has to do it in a sharp / short / punchy fashion to keep jurors' attention

*hire a few tweets up, not "higher"

Not really. Prosecutors are better on direct but get very little experience doing cross examination (because Defendants rarely put on evidence). That's why, for example, Harris's questioning of Kavanaugh was so bad

Yeah but slicing and dicing a witness makes fantastic TV. The way Senator Kennedy eviscerated that one guy nominated for a judgeship went viral precisely because of how well he did it

Here's the transcript from that hearing where Sen. Kennedy was doing a courtroom-like cross examination. The video was even better, and the guy was so embarrassed he withdrew his nomination

And here's the video where Senator Kennedy skewers Matthew Petersen

Nearly 9M views just on Twitter! More than these Congresscritters will get with their terribly worded questions of Cohen

Endorsed. Also provides a great example of preliminary questions followed by substantive ones

With Cohen, no. But I *do* expect them to do a better job of trying to cross-examine him. These attempts are tragically bad.

My Cousin Vinny is best used for illustrating expert witnesses / testimony 😉 And the evidentiary rulings are all A+

This is a pretty good descriptor tbqh 😂

Are you kidding? 5 minutes is an *enormous* amount of time

I once had a 3-witness trial, with openings / directs / crosses / closings, in just 15 minutes flat

Strip away the useless verbal strutting beforehand, and suddenly there's a huge expanse of time available
True story: that was me. The very first student's name to leave my CivPro professor's lips on Day 1 😑

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