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Principles & Principal Techniques

Part 1 (Opening 30 minutes, presented in Chicago)

Course Description
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Agenda for Part 1 (1.5 CLE hours in California)

  • Deposition cross-examination: an intellectually rigorous discipline
  • "Battleships": the checklist of recurring lines of inquiry in same-kind-of-case adverse depositions
  • Four nearly-everybody-agrees deposition cross-examination rules
  • "Grand Unified Theory" of civil litigation
  • The country's #1 civil litigator deposing a brilliant adverse witness in a monumental case (the first of several video clips analyzed)
  • The can't-be-beat argument vs. "the stupidest orthodoxy": saving attacks for surprise at trial
  • "Whack!" defined & demonstrated in a high-profile trial cross-examination
  • Seven advantages: deposition cross-examiner vs. trial cross-examiner
  • The most important TEACHABLE aspect of civil litigation

Agenda for Part 2 (1 CLE hour in California)

  • "The Magnificent Seven" ... key rules of deposition cross-examination
  • When to ask leading questions in deposition ... or at trial
  • Exceptions to the leading question rule
  • When the truth is not nearly enough
  • Bluffing deponent into an damaging admission
  • 3 high-profile examples of deception (2 blue, 1 red)
  • Using rhetoric to intensify argument

Agenda for Part 3 (1 CLE hour in California)

  • Using rhetoric to intensify argument (continued)
  • "Every" cross-examiner's chief flaw re taking an adverse deposition
  • Analysis of multiple video clips of the country's #1 civil litigator deposing that brilliant adverse witness in that monumental case
  • An amateur cross-examiner using rhetoric ... and doing it right!
  • Firewalling introduced

Agenda for Part 4 (1.5 CLE hours in California)

  • Firewalling and "ghost believers"
  • Interrogatory-like questions
  • Universal terms and nail-down terms
  • A 3rd famous cross-examination analyzed
  • Enumeration
  • Looping
  • Identifying a mediocre deposition in only 60 seconds
  • Making the implied express: using lexicography
  • Making the implied express: using logic

Agenda for Part 5 (1.5 CLE hours in California)

  • The transfer of information rule
  • The most common dumb deposition question
  • Deposition "Crap" defined
  • Attacking the narrow question & question-dodging with high school grammar
  • Attacking 2 answers in 1 question
  • Attacking the needle and the haystack answer
  • Additional wisdom re saving impeachment evidence for surprise at trial
  • Conducting interviews vs. taking great adverse depositions
  • Coda