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Most cross-examinations are an unwitting showcase of missed opportunities. Tragically, the lawyers usually don't even realize what they missed, or how much better they could have done with just a little more work and focus.
Read, a practicing trial lawyer as well as prolific author, adds this much-needed book to his collection of excellent advocacy titles. He dispels many myths and lays out simple principles any lawyer can follow to improve their trial performance.
Read understands that cross is the lawyer's chance to tell your own client's story. It is an opportunity to have opposing witnesses agree with you under oath- or look foolish by trying not to.
Chapters 2 through 4 teach you the core of Read's techniques. But the book is more ambitious than just a how-to manual. After teaching you how to do it, the last 2/3 of the book shows its principles in action in famous trials by great trial lawyers. Read interviewed many of them for this book. And he doesn't just add dry transcripts- Read sets up each situation, narrates it, and explains it afterward, so you can understand what the trial lawyer did, why they did it, and why it worked (or failed).
I was impressed by the many examples from Mark Lanier's trials. Read shows you how Lanier gets ready, reviewing documents and putting together a folder and outline for every witness. As he says, Lanier is the "best prepared person in the courtroom." Being organized, in the right way, is the game changer, as Lanier says. Even as the reader watches Lanier examine scholarly experts, you realize that Lanier is just employing simple techniques that you can use in any case. It all comes down to hard work and preparation. But knowing how to prepare is the key. Which is where this book comes in.
There are other great real-life examples- David Boies's work in the Perry case that overturned California's Proposition 8, is a great example of how to attack an expert. Boies applies techniques explained by Read, to devastating effect. I was also impressed by the criminal defense lawyers in the George Zimmerman case. Read explains how they took a witness the prosecution should never have called, and used their cross-examination to obtain testimony devastating to the prosecution.
If you try cases, you should know how to cross-examine. Whatever your experience level, and whatever amount of time you have devoted so far to learning how to cross-examine, I highly recommend this book.
Wow -- What a great book and a great read! Shane Read offers useful and insightful tips for anyone looking to improve their cross-examination skills. His writing leaps off the page, filled with interesting and humorous stories and examples of both what to do on cross and what not to do. It seems like an exaggeration to say this about a how-to book on legal process, but it is a page-turner. He writes well, engaging his reader in the foibles and successes of many different lawyers in trials throughout the centuries.
Not only does Mr. Read tell a good story, but he does so in an accessible and engaging manner. He lays out the tactics that work best at cross-examination, and dissects why other options do not work as well. He shows the reader how to win with step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow. This book eliminates the mystery and the mystique of the great trial lawyer by laying bare the secrets of the best in their field. His use of quotes, poetry, and humor make it a quick and fun read. His chapter checklists and highlighted practice tips make it an invaluable one for any lawyer trying to improve her cross-examination skills. Don't hesitate to purchase this incredibly useful guide to becoming the best lawyer on cross that you can be!
Shane Read has written another masterpiece, presenting real-life cross-examinations in high-stakes trials and depositions done by Mark Lanier, one of the best trial lawyers in America. This book is like a master artist watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel and sharing with you the secrets, skills and strategies that make it so epic. And get the Kindle version, which links you to link to videos of Lanier in action. So if you want to see how cross is done by the best, get it now.
Winning at Cross-Examination is masterful look at effective trial techniques and a necessary read for any attorney interested in effective examination of a witness. Whether a seasoned trial attorney or a fresh attorney just out of law school, this book will make you rethink and reexamine how you construct the theme of your case and employ strategic thinking as you employ the theme to each stage of litigation. Most importantly, Shane Read provides practical insights into what makes an effective examination of a witness using well known cases to highlight best practices. The book provides a roadmap for case preparation and witness examination with practical takeaways and enjoyable anecdotes. Time is an attorneys most valuable asset and downloading the lessons in Winning at Cross-Examination is time well spent.
Another great book from Shane Read that will immediately help you be a better trial lawyer. Like his book, Turning Points at Trial, this book reveals the foundational and advanced cross-examination techniques exemplified by some of the best trial attorneys in the business (e.g. Tom Girardi, Mark Lanier, David Boies, etc.). I have a couple of other books on cross-examination techniques, but this is the first that shows how to use cross-examination within the context of your overall winning case strategy and bottom-line message. I found the videos on the book's accompanying website to be particularly illustrative as well.
I have practiced complex class action defense and commercial litigation for nearly 30 years in an Am Law 100 firm. This is an exceptional book that clearly lays out compelling new approaches to cross-examination techniques. These methods are already proving to be game changers. You should read this book before your next cross-examination. The author is a trial attorney who has a gift for clear and understandable writing. In the first part of the book, the new techniques are clearly explained and in the last two parts of the book, the author analyzes how highly successful trial lawyers use these new techniques in actual cross-examinations.