An examination for discovery is a good method for lawyers to assess the progress of their case. Although a lawyer’s intention is to attend an examination fully prepared, they could be diverted during the flow.
To avoid the negative effects of this diversion, lawyers should consider the anatomy of a good line of questioning:
A good question stands alone
Lawyers are encouraged to be more specific when posing questions during an examination. By being specific, lawyers can receive an appropriate response.
A good question is relevant
Relevant questions are important to get answers that will help answer questions that are crucial for the case. By asking relevant questions, you will be able to answer your questions in a more effective manner.
A good question exerts control
Asking open-ended questions during an examination is a good technique to encourage the witness to articulate their response. Lawyers can also use minor follow-ups like, “And then what happened?”. Inevitably, they will be obligated to give a more favourable response.
A good question is simple in form
In a document-intensive examination, questions might expand in length to reflect complex arguments. However, using simple and open-ended questions could be the appropriate choice. The end goal is to conduct the examination in a manner that can be easily understood by the judge and jury.
A good question is cognitive
When the question asked is not vague or argumentative but rather precise and cognitive, then it will not be subject to objection. Avoid juggling multiple questions, as it is better to allow the witness to answer the first question in full before proceeding.
By practicing the art of asking appropriate questions during a discovery, lawyers will reap the benefits almost immediately. This form of skilled questioning is more likely to keep the examination shorter and effective.
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