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Thread: Cross examination...what is it and what is involved for defendants?

  1. #1
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    Default Cross examination...what is it and what is involved for defendants?

    Hi,

    I am scheduled for trial in the next few months unless by a miracle the CPS drop my case in the beforehand.

    Obviously I am scared of speaking in public as it's not something I often do.
    I intend in telling the truth and hope that it still has some meaning in this day and age.

    However, I am looking at getting myself used to how a courtroom works so that it does't faze me as much if/when I have to take the stand.

    What are peoples experiences of the cross examination part of the trial?
    Is it intimidating? Are the prosecutors harsh? What kind of questions will they ask?

    I appreciate that I will get to speak to my barrister long before the trial but would be good to get the good people on here's opinion and experiences in the meantime


    Any reply, as always, is greatly appreciated.

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    If you can try to sit through a trial in your local Crown court.

    You won't be speaking publicly, you will be "having a conversation with the jury" by answering either barrister's questions.

    Don't think of it as making speeches or anything like that. You listen to the questions carefully, look at the jury, and give the answer clearly and as confidently as you can. If you don't understand the question just say "I don't understand the question".
    Chris Saltrese Solicitors - private client only: ~ Email: amy@chrissaltrese.co.uk or sarah@chrissaltrese.co.uk ~ ~ Telephone: 01704 535 512:

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  3. #3
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    I think you are in Scotland?

    I hesitate to answer but I think cross examination is pretty much the same as in E&W

    Your advocate will question you first and try to deal with issues in your defence to prevent too much questioning from the prosecutor. There is some advice on facing cross examination in the useful information section,

    http://www.daftmoo.org.uk/mooforum/f...ul-Information

    Particularly this helpful post by RF:

    http://www.daftmoo.org.uk/mooforum/s...as-a-Defendant

    The questions they ask are going to be tailored to your case and designed to trip you up and the prosecutor may well try getting nasty but as long as you stay calm, take your time and keep your head there is nothing they can do to make the truth any different to what it is.

    There are also some links to Scottish legal matters in this thread :

    http://www.daftmoo.org.uk/mooforum/s...9-Scottish-Law

    Also this guide to trials north of the border:

    https://www.unlockthelaw.co.uk/serio...-scotland.html
    Last edited by Peter1975; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:30 AM. Reason: more links
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    Thank you very much for your reply, very helpful indeed.

    I must say I have read many of your reply to other posts in this forum and they extremely helpful. How you find the time I don't know but those of us who are facing a heinous, horrible false accusation such as I am, are very grateful to you.

    I am indeed north of the border, I appreciate there are differences in our legal set up here, but I dare say a crosa examination should/would be no different?
    Last edited by Wronglyaccused2016; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:46 AM. Reason: Spelling/grammar errors

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    Thank you very much for your reply RF, I often read your posts on some of the posts on here and they are very insightful and again much appreciated.

    When you say that I should make my replies to the jury, how does that work? I would be answering the barrister and naturally would be aiming my reply to them as if it were a normal conversation. I think I would find it unnatural to look at someone else when answering their question.

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    You should be told to look at the jury when giving evidence, because it is they who will be deliberating. You are not answering to the barrister but to the jury

    Extract from Matthew's blog linked to above:

    What is said usually boils down to this:

    Look the jury in the eye, keep your voice up and your answers short and simple; oh, and remember that once you’re in the witness box you can’t talk to anyone about the case, and especially not to your own lawyers, until your evidence is completed….”.


    Last edited by Rights Fighter; 3 Weeks Ago at 11:56 AM.
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    Reading Matthews blog and his website. It is very very informative and dare I say it helpful.

    Having never been in a courtroom with a jury in front of me a defendant this is all alien to me.
    But I shall take heed and look at the jury when I am answering and hope that they see the truth.

    Thanks again for your help, again very informative.
    Last edited by Wronglyaccused2016; 3 Weeks Ago at 01:31 PM. Reason: Repeat comment

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    My barrister actually said he felt answering my questions to the jury, instead of the prosecuting barrister would actually come across as slightly un-natural (considering she was the one asking the questions etc)
    Look, it's not easy...none of it is!
    I genuinely didn't think it was half as bad as I was expecting (in many different ways)

    The only thing you can do is listen to your barrister, tell the truth and most of all be yourself!

    My barrister made a point of me being quite softly spoken before I spoke, and just asked me to speak clearly and calmly!

    I wish you well

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rights Fighter View Post
    You should be told to look at the jury when giving evidence, because it is they who will be deliberating. You are not answering to the barrister but to the jury

    Extract from Matthew's blog linked to above:





    Just to clarify although my barrister said it would be more natural to address the prosecution barrister, I made sure I was also directing some answers to the jury!

    Excellent advice once again from RF : )

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    You are right of course, it does seem unnatural. However in every trial I have attended the def has always been told to look at the jury when answering.
    Chris Saltrese Solicitors - private client only: ~ Email: amy@chrissaltrese.co.uk or sarah@chrissaltrese.co.uk ~ ~ Telephone: 01704 535 512:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rights Fighter View Post
    You are right of course, it does seem unnatural. However in every trial I have attended the def has always been told to look at the jury when answering.
    I think that kind of ties in with what I said about being calm and try and stay relaxed!
    The prosecuting barrister will ask questions, so address them when needed but try and focus on the jury!

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    Thanks for your reply.

    I am dreading talking to a full room, I work alone most days and dont have any experience with public speaking nor a courtroom.

    I will take all your advice though
    May I ask, what kind of questions did they ask you? If that's not too personal of course.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aidy View Post
    My barrister actually said he felt answering my questions to the jury, instead of the prosecuting barrister would actually come across as slightly un-natural (considering she was the one asking the questions etc)
    Look, it's not easy...none of it is!
    I genuinely didn't think it was half as bad as I was expecting (in many different ways)

    The only thing you can do is listen to your barrister, tell the truth and most of all be yourself!

    My barrister made a point of me being quite softly spoken before I spoke, and just asked me to speak clearly and calmly!

    I wish you well
    Last edited by Casehardened; 4 Days Ago at 04:48 PM. Reason: repairing quote

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wronglyaccused2016 View Post
    Thanks for your reply.

    I am dreading talking to a full room, I work alone most days and dont have any experience with public speaking nor a courtroom.

    I will take all your advice though
    May I ask, what kind of questions did they ask you? If that's not too personal of course.


    QUOTE=Aidy;71272]My barrister actually said he felt answering my questions to the jury, instead of the prosecuting barrister would actually come across as slightly un-natural (considering she was the one asking the questions etc)
    Look, it's not easy...none of it is!
    I genuinely didn't think it was half as bad as I was expecting (in many different ways)

    The only thing you can do is listen to your barrister, tell the truth and most of all be yourself!

    My barrister made a point of me being quite softly spoken before I spoke, and just asked me to speak clearly and calmly!

    I wish you well
    [/QUOTE]

    I don't mind you asking at all!

    Obviously it will centre around what you have said in your police statement!
    But ultimately they will try and question you one what you have stated and why?
    I just kept it basic and she kept asking the same questions in alternative manners, all the while trying to trip you up!

    Remember you are only human...if you made a mistake during your interview or simply cant remember..just say so!
    The worst thing you could do is try and cover up a mistake, with the eyes of the jury on you!!

    Tell the truth, stand tall and look each and every one of them in the eye!

    I honestly wish you the best of luck...and you can and will get through this!!!! I did x

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    I am dreading talking to a full room,.......
    You won't be. It's rare that a court room is full. And it won't be like you are making a speech. Just try to answer the questions as clearly and calmly as you can, without going off on a tangent.

    You'll be fine honestly. You come across as a really sensible individual and unlikely to lose your cool.

    You'll see others giving evidence before you so you will get an idea of how things go.

    Are you able to attend a trial local to you, before yours? If you can, you'll see how things are done, which should put your mind at rest.

    Hold on in there.
    Chris Saltrese Solicitors - private client only: ~ Email: amy@chrissaltrese.co.uk or sarah@chrissaltrese.co.uk ~ ~ Telephone: 01704 535 512:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rights Fighter View Post
    You won't be. It's rare that a court room is full. And it won't be like you are making a speech. Just try to answer the questions as clearly and calmly as you can, without going off on a tangent.

    You'll be fine honestly. You come across as a really sensible individual and unlikely to lose your cool.

    You'll see others giving evidence before you so you will get an idea of how things go.

    Are you able to attend a trial local to you, before yours? If you can, you'll see how things are done, which should put your mind at rest.

    Hold on in there.
    Excellent advice once again RF!
    You make a very good point that others will speak before and get questioned, so it becomes slightly more natural if that makes sense?

    I'm pretty sure everyone who goes through this sorry ordeal feels scared, aprehensive etc
    I'm also of the opion that feeling scrared and intimidated actually helps you...just makes you normal which the jury will pick up on!

  16. #16
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    Folks,

    Thanks very for replying. I will have a look about how to go watch a trial myself, that is great advice.

    I like to think I am sensible and I listen to what is being said/asked properly before answering so I am hoping that will come across.

    I have a few months to prepare I suppose althouth I am hoping (maybe naively) that the truth will be obvious to the jury.

    Thank you again, this forum and folks like yourself on it has been invaluable to me and has a way of calming me down when the my mind is running at 100mph!

  17. #17
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    Please do not forget to ask in the PAFAA forums too. We have our legal advisor in there. I know yours is a Scots case but he may well be able to help
    Chris Saltrese Solicitors - private client only: ~ Email: amy@chrissaltrese.co.uk or sarah@chrissaltrese.co.uk ~ ~ Telephone: 01704 535 512:

    Private forums for those maintaining innocence of HISTORIC sexual offences: http://www.pafaa.org.uk/wordpress/?page_id=729

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