Live: The 26 “Deceiver” Arguments & The All-Time #1 Cross-Examination

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To Litigation Chairs, Litigation Partners,
& Professional Development Managers:

Recognizing & Crafting 26 “Witness Is A Deceiver!” Arguments, Taught By A Brilliant(??) Analysis 
of Q&A (Primarily) From The All-Time #1 Cross-Examination

(a program for law firms)

For more info:
musante.cle.webinars@gmail.com

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Format … Part One: at their convenience, each attorney watches a set of 3 videos (recorded March 2024); Part Two: a LIVE-ONLY Zoom broadcast to all attorneys (program not recorded)
Teaching points … see agendas for Part One & Part Two at the bottom of this page
Teaching-time (not intro or break time) … Part One videos: 240 minutes; Part Two live: 195 to 240 minutes (law firm’s choice)
Question-time … an all-questions-answered session follows the conclusion of Part Two
Target audience … from newbies to premier litigators [See “blunt truths” … at upper left corner of this page.]
Written materials … 88 pages, made available with the Part One videos
CLE accreditation … the law firm’s responsibility
Teaching fee … $3,500

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– It is unlikely that many of your litigators* take HIGH-quality adverse depositions … yet, it’s the quality of the “competing adverse depositions” (your side’s vs. your opponent’s) that most often most dramatically determines case outcome: settlement or trial.
– No litigator – not even “the Michael Jordan of the courtroom* – takes HIGH-quality adverse depositions without first mastering the logic of deposition cross-examination … and mastering the dozens of RULES that flow from it.
– Few law firms teach this logic; instead, they typically offer (expensive? / multi-day?) entry-level depo “skills” training re (a) how to interact with the witness (giving admonitions, building rapport, and gathering info … the latter “learned” through a few pretend sessions of “who – what – when – where – why – how – anything else?”); (b) how to interact with the opposing attorney (dealing with objections and obstructionism); (c) how to interact with the court reporter (making a record and managing exhibits and time); and (d) how to interact with technology in the age of Zoom. Sure, all nice stuff for newbies to know, but woefully inadequate for crafting case-changing, ready-to-reenact-at-trial deposition Q&A of a fact-witness or an expert who wants your client to lose the case … and is quite prepared to commit perjury in furtherance of that goal.
– When depo training maxes out at entry-level “skills,” mediocre adverse depositions abound.
– My programs teach the crucial discipline of deposition cross-examination. [See 5,000+ rave Reviews from newbies and senior litigators.]

* I’ve been in awe of BRILLIANT David Boies’s legal career since 1998, and remain so. In 2009, I created a 6.5 hour CLE program devoted exclusively to the analysis of Boies’s universally-lauded, 3-day deposition of Bill Gates in the US vs. Microsoft antitrust case … called it: “The Anatomy of A ‘Superstar’ Deposition.”  Taught it around the country to several thousand litigators.  At every presentation, I (eventually) revealed to the audience my judgment re the quality of that depo: “It’s an embarrassment to the art of cross-examination.”  No attendee ever disagreed, nor could they … cuz it ain’t a close call.
Point: Given that “brilliant and tireless … the greatest trial lawyer alive” David Boies failed [yes, failed!] to take a HIGH-quality depo of the most important adverse witness in the biggest antitrust case since the breakup of Standard Oil (1911), the vast number of less renowned litigators have undoubtedly failed in their important depositions … and will continue to fail for the rest of their careers … until they learn the logic (& RULES) of deposition cross-examination.

In every case, no matter the area of law, litigators inevitably challenge the credibility of some aspect of their opponent’s evidence: a fact-witness’s observation; an expert’s opinion; the genuineness of a document or real evidence. Acquiring the skills essential to recognizing and crafting forceful! credibility arguments – during the hurly-burly of deposition Q&A or trial cross-X – is crucial to every successful litigation. This program teaches those skills and applies them to the 26 “Witness is a deceiver!!” arguments. 

To illustrate the teaching points (and make them entertaining?), the program uses video clips from the preliminary hearing (in effect, deposition cross-examinations) in the case of the State of California vs. O. J. Simpson and video clips from the watched-live-by-tens-of-millions trial cross-examination conducted by legendary trial attorney F. Lee Bailey of smart, trial-tested, poised Los Angeles Police Detective Mark [“I Found the Murderer’s Glove at O. J. Simpson’s Home”] Fuhrman.*  While the country’s news media invariably referred to the Simpson case as the trial of the 20th century, based on the gargantuan amount of publicity and audience size it garnered, it’s gotta be the All-Time #1 trial … and Bailey’s 3-day Q&A of Fuhrman, as the centerpiece of that trial, the All-Time #1 cross-examination, right? [Notice the leading question.]

*In the words of one esteemed legal scholar: “As long as lawyers are allowed to cross-examine witnesses, they will look to the questions Bailey put to Detective Mark Fuhrman as examples to emulate.”

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Part One Agenda

For 7 days prior to the live-only presentation of Part 2, each attorney will have “watch-at-their-convenience” access to 240 minutes of videos (recorded March 2024) that discuss the topics below.

  • In Musante We Trust (Yes!)
  • Mt. Rushmore of teaching points:
    – Trial is argument
    – Deposition is trial
    – Deposition is argument
  • Paramount goal of every deposition Q
  • If Musante were your deposition mentor …
  • Saving impeachment for trial surprise
  • CE’s goals re cross-examination
  • Witness’s goals re cross-examination
  • Simpson case facts
    – Intro of Mark Fuhrman & F. Lee Bailey
  • Discovering – & memorializing – witness’s story: indispensable
  • Forcing witness to answer “Yes”
  • Fragmentary vs. interrogatory-like Q
  • Universal Q-terms & enumeration
  • Summary & looping
  • Q&A clarity: the friend of CE
    – Non-clarity: the friend of witness & OA
  • Work-Hawking: a crucial skill
  • In-depth analysis re 16 of Bailey & Fuhrman’s Q&A
    – Only 3 valid answers to a yes/no Q
    – CE’s risk re yes-maybe & no-maybe
    – Leading Qs: trial vs. deposition
    – The tell-the-truth-or-one-hellava-clear lie Q
  • Liar vs. deceiver
  • Trial cross-examination: the cherry-picked modules of deposition Q&A
  • Videotaping adverse depositions
  • The “argumentative” objection
  • Intro re 26 “Witness is a deceiver!!” arguments

    CE = cross-examiner
    OA = opposing attorney

Part Two Agenda

Assuming 240 minutes of teaching time (break time not included) the below topics are discussed in a live-only (i.e., not recorded) Zoom presentation, followed by an all-questions-answered session.

  • The “nobody’s perfect” cover story
  • Witness’s “virtuous” admission of a deception-flaw
  • Key axioms: Aristotle & John Locke
  • Witness’s implausible claim re knowledge, motivation, & decision
  • Witness’s implausible claim re a practice
  • Witness’s claim re “dissimilar” responses to “similar” situations
  • Witness’s implausible claim re knowledge
  • Witness’s implausible claim re motivation
  • Witness’s implausible claim re feelings
  • Witness’s implausible claim re info considered
  • Witness’s implausible claim re reasoning
  • Maximize arguments: lead, rhetoricate, & reason
  • Witness’s implausible claim re not remembering*
  • Witness’s implausible claim re remembering*
  • Witness’s implausible claim re perceiving info
  • Witness’s implausible claim re understanding info
  • Witness’s implausible characterization
  • Witness’s failing the “good citizenship test”
  • Witness’s contradictory or differing claims
  • Witness’s admission or implausible denial re motive to deceive
  • Witness’s claim contradicted by an external-source
  • Witness’s claim not corroborated an external-source
  • Witness promoted deception re another person’s statements/actions, re a document, or re real evidence
  • Witness’s question-dodging constituted deception
  • Witness’s “curiouser” testimonial behavior
  • Witness’s implausible claim re skill or ineptitude
  • Witness’s implausible claim re good/bad luck or coincidence
  • Falsis in unam, falsis in omnibus

    *Teaching how best to attack deceptive “remembering” claims deserves far! more time than this program allows (an extra 120+ minutes would be nice). Thus only a few tips are discussed. Sorry.