Advocacy and cross examination in Australian Courts
There is an old trial lawyers’ saying “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts into the Jury. When the law is on your side, pound the law into the Judge. When neither is on your side, pound the table”.
Advocacy is the art of persuasion. If an Advocate persuades they will generally win cases. A good advocate knows when their case is not likely to be a winner. In that case, persuasion of a different kind, namely, the ability to persuade the other side to settle on the best possible terms, marks out another essential skill of a good advocate. If one settles “bad” cases, and win most of “good” cases, that person will obtain a reputation as a good advocate.
Good advocates can win many cases by having the other side’s case, or part of it, struck out say during a disputed facts hearing or a full blown hearing. Having the other side’s evidence, or part of it, struck out can help win unwinnable cases.
Good advocates are also good listeners. They listen to witnesses and before a hearing AND during a hearing they listen to witnesses for all sides and the court. Having listened, a good advocate applies other qualities and skills to what has been heard.
A good advocate always tells the client what they do not want to hear. In doing this a good advocate will develop a reputation for telling it like it is, and for saving people’s money and reputation by not involving them in unnecessary hearings.
In court a good advocate if they are wrong, admits it.
A good advocate does not defend the indefensible but is rather courageous, and, within the limits of their duty as an officer of the court.
A good advocate stands their ground in accordance with their duty to the client and is courteous to the court, their opponents, witnesses, and other staff. Courtesy is also about knowing about etiquette, including court etiquette.
A good advocate spends time to prepare and knows the law. Good advocates also check the judgments of the judge or magistrate or tribunal member before whom they are appearing.
A good advocate who cross examines does so as follows:
- They are brief;
- They Use Plain Words;
- They Use Only Leading Questions (unless you are examining your client);
- They are Prepared and Never ask a question that they do not know the answer to;
- They Listen to the answer;
- The Do Not Quarrel with the witness on cross-examination;
- They Avoid Repetition;
- They Disallow Witness Explanation;
- They Limit Questioning and don’t ask the one question too many times;
- They never get cross during cross examination; and
- They save the best for Summation
At National Criminal Lawyers with over 25 years combined experience our expert criminal lawyers apply all the above techniques and have done in all Sydney metropolitan, NSW regional, and District and Supreme courts.
We have built an exceptional reputation amongst clients, courts and prosecutors and are a formidable team who will work together, both professionally and ethically to get the best possible result for you.
Our knowledgeable lawyers will fight to get the best result and defend your rights with fixed price costing. If you have a criminal case where Advocacy is required your in safe hands if you join partnership with National Criminal Lawyers.
For more information on our services, or to speak with one of our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers, please visit www.nationalcriminallawyers.com.au