The Art of Direct Examination

New York State Bar Association Journal - March/April 2017, P.20

5 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2017

Date Written: March 14, 2017


The primary purpose of direct examination is to establish the essential proof of facts in support of a claim or defense. One of the first tasks an attorney should perform in starting or defending a case for trial is to prepare the jury instructions. In preparing the jury instructions you will set out the elements of your cause of action or defense. The jury instructions or court's charge should be your bible and road map.

The theme of your case is a one sentence explanation of your theory. A theory is a succinct statement as to why the plaintiff should win or why the criminal defendant is not guilty of the charged crime. Here is a sampling: This is a case about a broken promise; This is a case of self defense.

This article sets out how to authenticate a computer record, business record and the evidentiary foundations for admissibility. Also, how to take a witness on voir dire, leading questions, offers of proof, motion in liminie and expert witnesses.

The advocate should weave the theme throughout the trial to make your direct examination come alive, interesting and compelling.

Keywords: Direct Examination, Trial Practice, Evidence, Witnesses

Suggested Citation

Johnson, James A., The Art of Direct Examination (March 14, 2017). New York State Bar Association Journal - March/April 2017, P.20, Available at SSRN:

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics