Robert Musante

Paxman & Musante, December 2016*

A Master Word-Hawk

On May 13, 1997, Jeremy Paxman, for 25 years the inquisitor-in-chief at BBC2's Newsnight, grilled Michael Howard, Britain's then Home Secretary, about his dubious role in a political matter of considerable controversy. In that Q&A, Paxman asked Howard a yes/no Q. about the key issue. Howard, quite determined to neither admit a self-damning truth nor tell a vulnerable-to-attack lie, dodged the Q. (Sound familiar?) Word-hawk Paxman heard the dodge and re-asked the Q. Howard dodged it again. Word-hawk Paxman asked the Q. a 3rd time; Howard dodged again. Nine more times – in a row! – word-hawk Paxman asked dodgy Howard the same Q. He dodged each, but couldn't dodge the demolition of his credibility. Winner: Word-hawk Paxman.

*a brief and serendipitous
crossing-of-paths in Notting Hill

Watch the Clip!

"Did you threaten to overrule him (Derrick Lewis)?" 2 min., 36 sec.

Musante is the nation's foremost teacher of deposition cross-examination. (Check the evals!) He has taught the logic essential to taking great adverse depositions – of fact witnesses and experts – to more than 50,000 litigators in 43 states. He has made in-house presentations to the attorneys-general of 11 states and to the partners and associates of 100+ litigation law firms. (List of law firms & organizations taught)

Teaching Experience:

Education and Legal Experience

1983 - 2001

1981 - 1982
Maloney, Chase, Fisher & Hurst, San Francisco, insurance defense re construction and products liability cases

1980 - 1981
Deputy District Attorney, Alameda County, CA (Lots of jury trials)

1979 - 1980
Deputy District Attorney, Sacramento County, CA (Lots of jury trials)

Juris Doctor, University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall Law School

1977 - 1978
Investigator, San Francisco District Attorney's Office, Special Prosecutions Unit, official corruption investigations



Appeared in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation." Was nominated for the Academy Award ... the movie, that is, for "Best Picture." Bravely directed danger-filled, Christmas traffic at Union Square (note the official cop-hat & cop-whistle), during a pivotal scene with 2-time Oscar winner, Gene Hackman.

1972 - 1976
Police Officer, San Francisco Police Department, patrol car and undercover narcotics investigations

Bachelor of Arts, English Literature, University of California at Davis


1967 - 1971
United States Air Force Security Service, Mandarin linguist


1962 - 1967
The Jesuits: Bellarmine College Preparatory, San Jose, CA and the University of San Francisco

"Most Reverent Altar Boy" (really), Our Lady of Mt. Carmel grammar school, Redwood City, CA