Cross-Exam: Chapter 24, 25

Chapter 23:  Diminishing or Building the Point

While both sides of a lawsuit have strengths and weaknesses, the differences are not measured on an absolute scale, but on the scale of perception.

It is the jury’s determination of the value of a point that determines its weight.

To diminish the importance of a fact, place it at the end of a series of greater non-facts.

To build significance of a fact, place it at the conclusion of a series of lesser facts, all of which were testified to by witnesses.

Many cases are settled under unreasonable terms because of the fear that the trial will result in a worse outcome.  The lawyer who has the ability to build and diminish facts before the trial begins can create more fear.

The facts that should be diminished or built are facts that have the greatest impact on the opposing theories of the case.

Chapter 24:  Juxtaposition

Common sense and common life experiences teach us that people tend to act the same as they have in the past.

Leon Festinger, a leading authority of cognitive development, determined that all learning is the result of contrasting and comparing.

Because people can effectively learn best by contrast, the cross-examiner can use this contrasting technique to vividly illustrate the facts that support her theory of the case or undermine the opponent’s theory of the case.

2 Types of Juxtaposition

1. Event  Juxtaposition

a. Cross-examiner is leading the witness through 2 parallel events

b. A chapter that goes through one event concludes with the witness agreeing with the factual goal of the cross-examiner.

c. In the second chapter, the other parallel event the cross-examiner knows the witness won’t agree with the important facts o the chapter but that the denial of the facts by the witness will make the denial appear to be false.,

2. Double Loop Juxtaposition

a. Cross-examiner is contrasting 2 separate facts in an effort to have the jury conclude that there are good reasons that certain conclusions have been reached by others who did not and could not know all the facts in an entire scenario.

b. The double loop juxtaposition receives all yes answers

c. The facts within the body of the questions are contrasted to show the disparity.


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Filed under Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques by Pozner & Dodd

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