I want to briefly discuss today how to cross examine an alleged victim on a domestic assault case. And we our firm does a lot of this. So, it’s something we practice in. And first of all, it requires a lot of preparation to do it properly. And I as a lawyer have to think of the themes of the chapters in my process. And so I organized it into themes and you want to, you want to start on a highlight, you want to start with your best material and often the best material is that the complainant has said something to the police in a written statement or video statement or something to another citizen, that’s inconsistent with what they’ve said in court. So during the examination in chief the crowd asked questions, and I go “ah, they’ve said something different statements”. So I take best inconsistencies and I hit them with those first and I go into ascending order. It’s going to hit them with great material out at the gate, it puts them on their heels. Prior inconsistent statements show potentially the witness not being truthful. I mean, if you’ve said something to the police which is majorly inconsistent with what you’re saying in court, obviously you’re not a credible person. So that’s a very powerful. The next thing I think about in my themes to cross examination or what, what are the improbabilities where the inconsistencies, the things that don’t add up in her statement, and I try and present that in a leading way that makes sense where I’m trying to expose them, it doesn’t make sense. I try and make it even rhetorical question that doesn’t even make sense to them. It becomes very effective if you can present this in such a way and there’s techniques for this, that even the witness is going wow, that does make sense. You can see the mind going, “wow I screwed up there in my statement didn’t I”.  I see that all the time when I do these types of cases. And ultimately then you’ve carefully listened to their presentation as well you know their police statement. You’re also working the statement to create further inconsistency that and things happen spontaneously court where you can expose it as well. There’s.. I won’t get into techniques. It takes years to learn this stuff properly. I think it takes about 10 years, frankly, to be a good cross examiner. I know it took me my first 10 years of career I think it was okay.  Decent after five years I would say after 10 years. Pretty good. Maybe marginally gotten better, the returns get better after 10 years. You got to keep working, as you know, in life to get better at the skill. So ultimately, after all these things that don’t add up, and by the way, motives to lie are important if you in many domestic assaults where there’s a defence there’s often a motive to lie. There’s a custody battle, battle over the kids, she got, once a guy booted out of the house. She hates him because it was an adulterous affair. You can present this stuff and expose it that that their bias is they have motives to lie.  And you can expose other biases as well. All with the view that you’re showing creating reasonable doubt that they’re not a credible and reliable witness. And ultimately, at the end of the cross examination, there’s a rule you don’t have to do it at the end, but I tend to there’s a rule called Browne v Dunn in Old English case, where I have to put to her kind of a summary way my client’s version of events to give her a chance to answer but the thing about that I know there’s certain admissions to the complainant that will make, that are helpful. And I want to put those to her first as well. I do that within the context of Browne v. Dunn. So it’s a very organized thematic presentation, which takes hours to put together properly. There’s a lot of techniques to it. When you see it in properly. It’s a bit of an art form. It’s not a science. It’s an art form. But the whole point of it is not open-ended questions, I never asked the question. What happened, what happened next, how, when, where why, I always ask. I always use leading questions which suggests the answer which they’re free to say yes or no and then trying to box them into an area okay. And, and if you know what you’re doing, you can lead a witness down the garden path without the even knowing what’s going on. I like in it to  the emperor has no clothes; a good cross examiner can take  a loose thread and slowly but surely unravel it to, that the button is completely undone basically, that’s the bottom line. What I’ve seen good cross examiners do and it’s a real art form. So there you have it, there’s a quick primer on how I or any good criminal lawyer will cross examine, a complainant in domestic assault case. I just want to mention that if you if you have a criminal charge of domestic assault or sexual assault, DUI or anything like that, any type of charge, or drug charge. We have offices across the province here in Windsor. We’re in London, Kitchener. Toronto for example. If you have a domestic assault in Toronto, or you need a Toronto sexual assault lawyer, give us a shout. We have lawyers in each of these offices and we serve all the cities in between we’re happy to get you some free initial advice and you can decide whether you want to hire us.

Contact Us

Complete the form below to get a free meeting and quote.

Protected By Google reCAPTCHA | Privacy - Terms