Third Party Witnesses

AuthorLeonard H. Bucklin
6. Third Party Witnesses
§6.1 Instructions to Staff
INSERT FORM. Insert one of the WITNESS
SUMMARY forms for each one of their wit-
nesses. Fill in the name and contact informa-
tion. Put them in alphabetical order. Let the
attorney or legal assistant prepare the rest of
the Witness Summary sheet.
File behind the Witness Summary form, for each witness, the miscellaneous materials
which are helpful in handling the witness, such as copies of statements, copies of the attor-
ney’s notes of interviews or miscellaneous facts, diagrams or notes about what others have
to say about the witness — anything that can be helpful in examination of the witness.
§6.2 Checklist: Six Standard Items in Cross-Examination
1. What must the witness admit? (For example, that there was a stop sign; that it was
red; that it was three feet wide; and that he started up and there was a collision.) When
the witness admits a point that you want to press home as part of your theme of the
case, follow it up with a question like:“No question about that, is there?”
2. What shows bias or otherwise impeaches credibility?
3. On what items can his testimony be limited? (For example, he did not hear the rest
of the conversation; or he did not read all the contracts; or her viewpoint was limited by
the bush between her and the cars.)
4. Where is he weak? Weak spots in the witness’s testimony make the witness’s other
testimony lose force. (“You do not know...?”)
5. Areas in which you have lots of material, and the witness has little.
6. What does the witness know that agrees with your case? Look for areas in which
you want to keep pressing the theme to emphasize your advantage. (Is it true that...?)
(You were in court when X testified that...?)
Read this instruction sheet. Then
place this instruction sheet as the first
item behind the tab. Leave it here, so
that the attorney always has “Six
Standard Items in Cross-Examination”
handy in emergencies.

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