Lessons from a Great Lawyer

Rosen Cross Class

Over the past 6 months, I have had the immense honour of being in the course “Critical Thinking for Cross-examination”.

The following are my favourite lessons from the course:

Lawsuits are 90% about the facts and 10% about the law.

To determine the key facts, you have to analyze the case. Think laterally and not linearly. For example, if someone said that they went to the gas station, try to think about every aspect of it. What were they wearing? What was in their pockets? Did they pay with cash or credit? What was in their car? What does the inside of the car look like? How far was the driver? Where were they going? Where are they coming from? How often do they take the route? Were they hungry? What did they eat that day? etc. Try to recreate every millimetre of that moment.

Do not raise red herrings that detract from the focus. Find the core of your case and refer to peripheral matters only when it supports your narrative.

Make every witness your witness. Turn opposing party’s witness into a witness favourable to your narrative. Ask yourself how can I make the other side’s evidence work in my favour and paint my theory of the case.

Prove your narrative. Find objective evidence.

When confronted with analyzing a scenario, ask yourself “is this how normal people act?”

Be careful not to have tunnel vision.

Repeat key phrases.

Every case can be fun.