The Direct Examination Blueprint: Nine Empirically Supported Principles for Maximum Attention, Retention, and Comprehension

47 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2017 Last revised: 20 Jan 2019

See all articles by Harry M. Caldwell

Harry M. Caldwell

Pepperdine University - School of Law

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

There are nine principles trial lawyers should bear in mind in preparing, choreographing, and executing direct examinations. They are (1) using a conversational tone; (2) blocking or segmenting the examination; (3) headlining each block or segment; (4) staging or choreographing the various blocks; (5) personalizing the witness; (6) freeze-framing critical information; (7) eliciting appropriate feelings; (8) introducing visual reinforcement; and (9) mitigating damaging evidence by pricking boils. The discussion of each principle is followed by empirical data supporting that principle.

Keywords: advocacy, trial advocacy

Suggested Citation

Caldwell, Harry M., The Direct Examination Blueprint: Nine Empirically Supported Principles for Maximum Attention, Retention, and Comprehension (2017). 41 American Journal of Trial Advocacy 141; Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017/6. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2926521

Harry M. Caldwell (Contact Author)

Pepperdine University - School of Law ( email )

24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States

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