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In this book, Douglas Walton provides an introduction to basic concepts, tools, and methods in argumentation theory and artificial intelligence as applied to the analysis and evaluation of witness testimony. While every attempt has been made to ensure stock availability, occasionally we do run out of stock at our stores. Prices and stock availability may vary between Webstore and our Retail Stores. Fulfilment Centre Email: sims kinokuniya. Check Retail Stores' phone number. Wish List Welcome! Sign in New customer?

Start here. Opening Statements Objective: To acquaint the judge with the case and outline what you are going to prove through witness testimony and the admission of evidence. What should be included: Name of case Names of attorneys you and your colleagues Name of client Name of opponent A short summary of the facts A clear and concise overview of the witnesses, testimony and physical evidence that you will present, stating how each will help prove your case; try to recount the story without naming which witnesses will tell what information Mention of the burden of proof the amount of evidence needed to prove a fact and who has it in this case Conclusion and request for relief What to avoid: Too much detail, which can tire or confuse the court.

Witness Testimony Evidence: Argumentation, Artificial Intelligence, and Law

Exaggeration and overstatement. Argument, which violates the basic function of the opening statement i. Do not read the entire presentation; try to look at the judge and tell your story, preferably without the use of notes. First and last sentences should be the strongest, to capture the judges' attention and leave them with a lasting impression.

Be earnest, loud and clear. Other suggestions: Learn your case thoroughly facts, law, burdens, etc. Never promise to prove anything that you will not or cannot. Write a clear, concise, and well-organized statement. What should be included: Isolate the information that each witness can contribute to your case and prepare a series of questions designed to elicit that information.

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  • Witness statements.

Make sure all items that you need to prove your case will be presented through your witness. Use clear and simple questions.

Types of witness statements

Elicit information through questions and answers. Never ask a question to which you don't know the answer. Advice in presenting: Be a "friendly guide" for the witnesses as they tell their stories. Let the witnesses be the stars. Try to ask only the questions that you have practiced with your witnesses; ask only the questions which are necessary to elicit the desired testimony; and stay within your time limits. Be prepared to think and respond quickly to an unexpected answer from a witness and add a short follow-up to be sure you obtained the testimony you wanted. Present your questions in a relaxed and clear fashion; be sure to listen to the answers.

If you need a moment to think, ask the judge if you can discuss a point with your co-counsel. Be sure all documents are marked for identification purposes before you refer to them during trial; refer to them as Exhibit A, etc.

After you have finished using the exhibit, if it helps your case, ask the judge to admit it as evidence. Other suggestions: Ask open-ended questions. These usually begin with "who," "what," "when," "where," "why," or "how," or by asking the witness to "explain" or "describe. Practice with your witnesses. Don't ask questions requiring opinion testimony, unless the witness has been certified as an expert by the court. Refer to The Simplified Rules of Evidence in your case packet What does the opposing attorney do during this time? Objects to testimony or introduction of evidence when necessary.

Takes down pertinent information and prepares for cross-examination of witnesses. Cross-Examination Objectives: To make the other side's witnesses less believable in the eyes of the trier of fact; to negate your opponent's case; to discredit the testimony of your opponent's witnesses; and to discredit real evidence that has been presented.


Advice in preparing: Carefully analyze all possible adverse testimony and other evidence to find weaknesses; an attorney should attempt to explain, modify, or discredit the opponent's evidence by exposing its weaknesses. Jot down ideas or key words, which may be used to write out the cross-examination questions later. Prepare short questions using easily understood language. Use narrow, leading questions ones that suggest the answers and normally require only a yes or no answer.

Know your case materials thoroughly. It is essential that you appear confident in your case. Types of questions to ask: Questions that establish that the witness is lying on important points e.

How to Deliver an Amazing Opening Statement

Questions to show that the witness is prejudiced or biased e. Advice in presenting: Be relaxed and ready to adapt your prepared questions to the testimony that is actually heard during the direct examination. Always listen to the witness' answer.

Witness - Wikipedia

Don't give the witness the opportunity to re-emphasize the strong points made during direct examination. Be fair and courteous; don't quarrel with the witness. Use narrow, leading questions that suggest an answer to the witness these are generally questions that require a "yes" or "no" answer. Do not allow the witness to explain anything i. It may be useful not to insist on an answer. Save the ultimate point for closing. Eye contact with the witness is recommended.

An experienced trial judge to offers tips on effective cross-examination

Other suggestions: Anticipate each witness' testimony and write your questions accordingly. Be ready to adapt your questions at the trial depending on the actual testimony. Be brief.

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