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Examination–In Chief/Cross-Examination/Re-Examination – Friday 17th MAY 2024 – COMMENCING AT 4PM - COST - £75 + VAT


Some advocates give themselves a hard time because they feel they lack the requisite advocacy skills and are therefore somewhat reluctant to do their own trials in the Magistrates' Court – as with all things, proficiency comes with constant repetition. You may never develop the advocacy skills of a Marshall Hall but there is no reason why you cannot learn the basics of it all whereby you are a more than competent trial advocate and can give a good account of yourself.

This 1-hour zoom presentation is intended to take you through the golden rules of advocacy and to assist you in the techniques that will make your life easier during the trial – I have been in court and I have seen advocates struggle and I have thought to myself ‘if only they had done X in advance’.

NO NOTES (apart from Section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and the 25 issues) – THIS IS A PRESENTATION ABOUT THINGS YOU SAY RATHER THAN THINGS YOU READ

Have a look at the 25 ISSUES below and see if knowing about them would assist you in your trial advocacy – you might consider, after scanning them, that this is a presentation that you should book on or a recording that you should purchase.

Anyone wishing to attend the session (or wishing to have the recording afterwards without ever attending) should simply click here: mailto:  or ring me (or send me a text) – (07887) 842985 and book a place.

Trial advocacy issues

1 – EXAMINATION–IN-CHIEF – taking your client or your witness through his/her examination-in-chief.

2 – The importance of a knowledge of Section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 in the area of examination-in-chief – always take an ‘evidential proof’ from the client which may become a very useful document for you concerning examination-in-chief – it may even become an exhibit!

3 – The circumstances in law in which you are permitted to lead your own witness.

4 – Leading your own witness with the consent of your opponent – don’t make life unnecessarily difficult for yourself!

5 – Getting the client to simply ‘adopt’ his police station interview as his examination-in-chief.

6 – Having the recording of the interview played during the currency of the trial.

7 – Try to avoid leading on the contentious issues as it will simply upset everyone – sentences beginning with the words ‘and what happened after that’ and ‘tell the court what you did next’ are unlikely to get you into any trouble at all.

8 – Be careful that your client does not say something during the examination-in-chief whereby the Crown raise the issue of character.

9 – CROSS- EXAMINATION – don’t forget the absolute obvious, you can lead in cross-examination – they are not your witness!

10 – Assuming that the witness has come up to proof and there are factual disputes between what the witness has said and what your client will say in due course, put your client’s case to them in your cross-examination! – If you do not, the prosecutor is likely to say, more than once, ‘well that point was never put to any of my witnesses!

11 – If the witness has not come up to proof on a particular point, stay well clear – it’s a poor advocate who fills in the prosecution ‘gaps’ whilst conducting cross-examination.

12 – You may choose to cross-examine the witness on anything they may have said in their live oral testimony which is at variance to that which they put in their statement.

13 – As you know, a witness of fact should give their evidence as they remember it at the time and their statement is merely there to assist them in any recollection – if they give a different version to that contained in their statement you should gently cross-examine them as to which version they believe is correct and why they believe that version to be correct.

14 – They say that you should ‘never ask a question, the answer to which you do not already know’ – I asked questions all the time in relation to answers I did not know!

15 – Never be afraid to ask a particular question because you KNOW that the answer will be blindingly obvious (you do not KNOW this – you merely SURMISE this!) – trials are funny things and witnesses sometimes do not say that which you would consider to be the obvious reply to your question.

16 – Cross-examine the witness on anything they may have said at variance to that said by other witnesses – if they are the 1st witness to testify you must be careful in the language you use at this point in your cross-examination.

17 – Decide in advance of the trial what your tactics are going to be in relation to the cross-examination of any particular witness – there is a very wide spectrum – some witnesses may be genuine in their belief whilst also mistaken, whilst others have come to court deliberately to perjure themselves!

18 – Cross-examining police officers – don’t spend your time flogging a dead horse!

19 – Always have in mind the ‘spectre of bad character’ when you are conducting the cross-examination of any particular witness – just because the Crown haven’t applied beforehand, doesn’t mean they can’t apply during the currency of the trial itself.

20 – Your application to cross-examine a Crown witness on their character – how you will put the character to the witness and the things you may say to that witness as a result of having obtained the leave of the court to put those points to the witness.

21 – RE-EXAMINATION – the 1st rule – don’t do it!

22 – Don’t let re-examination become examination-in-chief Part 2 – you will simply upset everyone and be mindful of where you consider it is happening with a prosecution witness

23 – Understanding the two-fold purpose of re-examination – should you wish to engage in it at all! – pursuing areas opened up in cross-examination and ‘repair’ – always consider whether or not ‘repair’ can be achieved by way of other evidence still to be called

24 – The psychological impact of announcing – ‘NO RE-EXAMINATION OF THIS WITNESS’

25 – The closing speech





Invoices will be sent after the presentation and our normal terms of business apply i.e. PAYMENT WITHIN 14 DAYS – the cost for each person attending is £75 + VAT  – if you have attended the presentation there will be no additional charge for a copy of the recording

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