oa Advocate - Control on direct examination in American trial practice: part 3: Keeping the focus on the witness and maximising the impact of the testimony

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8743



We have all seen courtroom dramas on television and in the movies where a witness is called and enters the courtroom, making her way to the witness stand. The witness looks to the lawyer and the direct examination is about to begin. The manner in which the trial lawyer conducts the direct examination will determine whether the witness remains the focus of everyone's attention. One of the direct examiner's most important tasks is to ensure that the factfinder's attention remains upon the witness.

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