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Training Guide

Cross Examination


Training Guide

Cross Examination

Trial Practice
Remote or in person

What’s Covered

  • Deciding What Points to Cover
  • Organizing the Cross Topics
  • Drafting Your Cross Questions
  • Practice and Preparation
  • Reacting to the Witness’s Direct
  • Tips for Executing Your Cross

Before the Session

Prepare the Attendees

Send the attendees an invitation for the session. Include this link, which has the videos and exercise they’ll need to prepare.

Prepare Yourself

Watch the videos and read the exercise so you’re familiar with the Hotshot material.

  • still frame from Deciding What Points to Cover


    Cross Examination

    Strategic guidance on the meticulous preparation required to conduct cross examination. Includes how to organize your outline, decide what to cover, start and end your cross, and draft effective questions. Also discusses how to adjust your plan in real time based on the witness’s direct, how to use exhibits, and other tips for a successful execution.

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    Cross Examination


During the Session

Part 1: Knowledge Check
Ask attendees these questions to ensure they understand the topic:
  • What are the goals of cross?
  • When in your cross should you make the strongest point you have? Why?
  • What are the pros and cons of scripting out your cross questions? If you do script them, what’s the best way of using them at trial?
  • How can you format your cross outline to allow you to jump around as needed at trial?
  • What are some useful ways to practice your cross questions?
  • What should you do if the witness performs very well on direct? If they perform poorly on direct?
Part 2: Group Exercise
Lead a group discussion based on the exercise. To encourage collaboration, divide the attendees into groups to discuss the exercise, then have a representative from each group summarize their views to the larger group. Call on people to share their thoughts and ask others to respond.
Tip for remote sessions: use your web conferencing system’s breakout room feature to divide people into groups.
Part 3: War Stories and Firm Specifics
Share your own experiences and guidance, including:
  • Anecdotes and war stories (e.g., about a near-disaster or a tough negotiation)
  • General practice tips (dos and don’ts)
  • Firm-specific guidance and practices

After the Session

To continue their learning, attendees can check out related courses in Hotshot’s Trial Practice topic.

About Hotshot

Hotshot helps lawyers develop their legal, business, and technology skills through short videos, quizzes, and summaries, and we help law firms and law schools plan and deliver engaging training programs. Our customers include Am Law 200 firms, top law schools, and regional and international firms.

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