Welcome, Wilson Elser Cross-Examiners: Newbies & Trial Dogs!

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

Part One of this program consists of 3 (hopefully entertaining) videos: “A,” “B,” & “C.”  To fully understand (and enjoy?) the 4 hours of teaching points discussed in Part Two (i.e., the LIVE-only Zoom presentation, on April 12th), you gotta watch these videos. To access them input your name and Wilson Elser email address below; the videos will soon (a few seconds) appear on this page, and you’ll be sent a confirming email. Each time you close this page the videos “disappear,” so when you return to resume watching a video, you’ll have to re-enter the same info, which will trigger the identical confirming email. (Sorry!)

If you have any questions or – even better! – challenges re any of the teaching points in the videos, please send them to me. You can access the easy-to-submit Q&A form by clicking on the blue button (Q&A re PART ONE) that is just below the set of pretty pictures. An anonymous!! PDF compilation of everyone’s comments – including my non-anonymous responses to same – will be made available during the live presentation. [You’ll notice to the right of that blue button there is second blue button (Q&A re PART TWO), which you are encouraged to use following the live presentation.]

The program’s unimpressive, yet adequate, written materials are the 2 pdfs: 
• “Pages 1-69” track the teaching points in the 3 videos and in the April 12th presentation.  If an important list of something appears in a slide, it also appears in these pages.  At page 63 begins “Appendix #1,” which sets out Simpson case info: participants & the prosecution’s timeline.
• “Pages 70-88” analyze 2 excerpts of Bailey-vs.-Fuhrman Q&A.  These pages are NOT worth reading … until after you’ve heard the Part One & Part Two teaching points, which are bullet-pointed below the aforementioned pretty pictures.

All the program’s teaching points shoulda been offered to all of us in law school, but they weren’t.  None of the teaching points are difficult to master, even for litigation newbies … although, no doubt, some practice will be necessary.  Aristotle: “Well begun is half done.”  So let’s begin!

Video “A”
Video “B”
Video “C”

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, the program uses video clips from the preliminary hearing (in effect, the 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 really gotta be the All-Time #1 Trial, thus Bailey’s 3-day Q&A of Fuhrman, as the centerpiece of that trial, has gotta be the All-Time #1 Cross-Examination, right? [Notice the leading question.]

*In the words of one esteemed legal scholar (identified in the presentation): “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.”

Part One’s Agenda:Q&A re PART ONE

Recorded March 2024, videos “A,” “B,” & “C” discuss the below teaching points (forgive those abstrusely labeled):

  • In Musante We Trust (Yes!)
  • The 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
  • Indispensable: discovering & memorializing witness’s story
  • 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 (i.e., 60 minutes) analysis re 16 of Bailey & Fuhrman’s Q&A
    – Only 3 valid answers to any yes/no Q
    – CE’s risk re yes-maybe & no-maybe answers
    – 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
  • Intro re 26 “Witness is a deceiver!!” arguments
  • The “argumentative” objection vs. crafting arguments

    CE = cross-examiner
    OA = opposing attorney
Part Two’s Agenda:Q&A re PART TWO

This LIVE-only presentation (4 hours, plus extensive! Q&A) will discuss – some only briefly – the below teaching points:

  • 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 or purportedly 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 “inconsistent” claims
  • Witness’s admission or implausible denial re motive to deceive
  • Witness’s claim contradicted by an external-source
  • Witness’s claim not corroborated by an external-source
  • Witness corrupted another witness, a document, or real evidence
  • Witness’s question-dodging
  • Witness’s “curious” testimonial behavior
  • Witness’s implausible claim re skill or ineptitude
  • Witness’s implausible claim re luck or coincidence
  • Falsis in unam, falsis in omnibus

    *Teaching how best to attack dishonest “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.