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Looking for information on cross and re-examination

I am a newcomer to this site and would be grateful if there is anyone out there who can direct me to specific resources on cross examination and re-examination as a SRL.  Some years ago spent many thousands of dollars on a Lawyer and Barrister and while the outcome was eventually good for all - by consent, the whole experience was very damaging. Unfortunately a new issue has arisen and the dreaded courtroom looms in the near future and as I know my child far better than a lawyer or Barrister can, I want to be a prepared as I possibly can be to take on the other party's Barrister. If anyone knows of a good, succinct reference about cross examination and re-examination skills and techniques, I would be very grateful to hear about it.
Lucy, I've come across a publication called "Advocacy in Practice (4th edition)", by Glissan J QC. Which although I have purchased it and it's aimed at practicing solicitors, I haven't begun to read it as I'm not at trial yet. If you google for "cross examination techniques family law" you'll find other references and sites. Nothing all that specific but it may give you the foundations. Apart from that, attend court as many times as you can to gather real life experience. It's heartbreaking a lot of the time to see other people being cross examined but it's been invaluable to me in preparing for my court appearance. Good luck.
Excellent advise to spend a day and sit in and watch. We had an amazing barrister in our case and she was lethal in her ability to cross examine.

Some basic tennants are to ask yes/no questions where you want a yes/no answer. That is, you don't want the other party to elaborate.

Where you DO want the other party to tie themselves up in knots, do not ask yes/no questions.

Another skill to hone is to have about 4 objectives, with one major theme or 'plank' to your argument. Juggle the questions up so that the witness is unaware of which rabbit hole you are going to lead them down.

Think of the answers you want them to provide, think of how other witnesses will say the 'wrong thing' as people do when they are lying. You are trying to reduce their credibility and get them (inadvertently) to back your line of argument.

Look for holes in affidavits. For example, parent A is saying that they have withheld the children because parent B has been abusive in the past and they are scared. Since this affidavit was submitted, parent A has given some time with the children on weekends. Parent A has also allowed Parent B to enter their house. Consider how you would bring this to the court's attention and what questions you would ask.

This is basic advice and I am a novice. The best bet is to read, read and read and observe real life cases.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Aretmis, If you are a novice with advice like that, then im in the corner with a dunces hat on… Brilliant advice….without emotion, and spot on…

Can i add that when you are a party in court hearing listning to evidence you need to be able to make quick and accurate notes an what every witness is saying, as this is what you will be, in part and depending on personal circumstances and UNDER CROSS asking them questions on.You only get one chance to write these notes as well…..

Sometimes you have to note the witnessses words AND prepare a question, all  in a matter of seconds….because if you dwell, you miss the next thing they are saying… There is a lot of matching and changing that goes on in your plan for cross during evidence from the other side as you never quite know what they re going to say….Ive only done single day AVO things and the like but they were hard enough…..

prepare the mind as well as the paperwork


They must find it difficult, those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority

Thanks gooner, but there are others on the site who's ability to question and think through arguments is really quite impressive.

As for our barrister - she was SO inspiring that if I had less mileage on me, I'd be studying law. She was a GUN. The rabbit hole is her analogy.

But I digress.

Another tip is to select who you examine with great care. Typically, you would go for the weakest link; the one who can't think on their feet and wont be able to follow the threads of where you are taking them.

Where you have more than one person telling a lie, it's hard to keep the story straight. Look for a piece of information that everyone should know, but won't because they haven't rehearsed the story enough or gone into the sort of detail that you would about having an actual conversation or experiencing something that really happened.

Classic questions to tie people (usually Dad's) up in knots are:

"Do you think they are a good parent?"


"Who would look after the child if you passed away?".

Now, most people will say nice things out of nerves and social conditioning. This then opens the door to say present the argument that if there is little wrong with the other parent's care - why are you arguing about it?

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Thanks you to all. I am so grateful for all the tips. I have understood for some time that I would need to do plenty of work around preparation of documents and preparation of self, if I am representing myself. While the documentation was challenging, I feel the preparation of self is going to be even more challenging. Unlike Aretmis, my experience with a Barrister some years ago was completely different and very disappointing to say the least. I honestly believe I am capable of better work that he provided for an outrageour amount of money.

All that aside as it is well in the archive now, is there specific article/s or book you would recommend in addition to the text recommended by lilsmum.
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