Friday, December 20, 2013

Effective Courtroom Testimony: Trick Questions

This just in from Digital Forensic Investigator, "The cross-examination can be very tricky and quickly make you appear to be feeble minded. There are two types of questions often asked to catch you off guard, whereby attempting to discredit your testimony.

  • Ambiguous Question: This type of question is designed to have a double meaning. Therefore, no matter how you answer, it can be turned around and used against you. The solution is to request clarification or ask for the question to be rephrased before attempting to answer.
  • Two-part Question: This type of question is usually asked because the person asking it is knowingly aware that one part of the question is obviously true and the other part is obviously false. Therefore, if you attempt to answer both parts of the question at the same time, you will be caught in a “Catch 22.” The solution is to answer only one part of the question. Select which part of the question you would like to answer, then simply state, “Since this is a two-part question, let me answer the (first/second) part.” Do not automatically start to answer the other part of the question when you finish the first part. Let the other part of the question be redirected to you.

Once you have deciphered which type of question you are being asked, thoroughly think through your answer before speaking, and then answer with confidence."

To find out more, click here.

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