The Art of Cross-Examinationby Francis L Wellman
This is the conclusion arrived at by one of England's greatest advocates at the close of a long and eventful career at the
"The issue of a cause rarely depends upon a speech and is but seldom even affected by it. But there is never a cause contested, the result of which is not mainly dependent upon the skill with which the advocate conducts his cross-examination."
This is the conclusion arrived at by one of England's greatest advocates at the close of a long and eventful career at the Bar. It was written some fifty years ago and at a time when oratory in public trials was at its height. It is even more true at the present time, when what was once commonly reputed a "great speech" is seldom heard in our courts,-because the modern methods of practising our profession have had a tendency to discourage court oratory and the development of orators. The old-fashioned orators who were wont to "grasp the thunderbolt" are now less in favor than formerly. With our modern jurymen the arts of oratory,-"law-papers on fire," as Lord Brougham's speeches used to be called,-though still enjoyed as impassioned literary efforts, have become almost useless as persuasive arguments or as a "summing up" as they are now called.
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Let me first say that I am a law school student, who was in the process of trying out for my school's mock trial team when I purchased this book. After read it, my cross examinations went from a measly 3-4 (in a scale from 1-10) to a solid 8-9. This book is the reason why I made the team. It contains the unofficial cardinal rules of cross examination that every effect cross examiner must know. The examples drive the point home perfectly. There is a wealth of knowledge in it, especially for the beginner. The casual reader may find it to be drawn out and, at times, boring. However, the aspiring attorney will gain real-life experience by reading the experiences of others contained in this masterpiece. A 'must have' in that regard.