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Hello, As Pro-Se if the witness made crucial inconsistent material statements in direct examination.

Parlin, NJ |

What would the best approach be in cross examination to exploit those statements which are false? In advance thanks.

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Attorney answers 3


Impeach the witness and attack their credibility by asking direct questions when you are afforded the opportunity to do so. Mind you, this is easier said than done. You should consider speaking with an attorney in person at a consultation in their office or conference room to discuss your case confidentially rather than on an open forum like AVVO or anywhere else for that matter.

Keep in mind that there are procedural Rules of Evidence you are expected to abide by when examining or cross examining a witness, Substantive Rules of Law you are expected to know if you wish to go forward as a pro se including knowledge of the pertinent Case Law in order to resolve your case favorably. Good luck.

Realistically, schedule a consultation with an attorney in person to get some meaningful guidance based on the facts and circumstances of your unique situation.

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Jeffrey Anthony Skiendziul

Jeffrey Anthony Skiendziul


Direct questions are for cross examination.


Unfortunately, there is no good way to teach cross on the internet.

There is no 'pat' answer to your question--it all depends on the facts and circumstances of the case, the level of court, the rules of evidence/civil procedure, the credibility of the witness, YOUR capabilities and credibility in the case so far.

Best you can do is provide direct evidence that impeaches the witnesses testimony—which is a meaningless phrase if you’ve not done or at least studied it.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.


I agree with my colleagues on the difficulty this question presents.

Where you are addressing inconsistent statements particularly, you really do need a record of those statements (either in a document like an email, or in a deposition or earlier testimony on the record.) Simply attacking a witness with an inconsistent statement because your memory is different is not going to be effective.

The foregoing is not legal advice, and nothing in the foregoing shall be deemed to create an attorney client relationship. If you feel you need to speak with an attorney regarding your issue, it is recommended that you contact an attorney with expertise in your area of inquiry. The information related above is purely for informational purposes, and should not be acted upon without speaking with qualified counsel familiar with you specific situation and the laws related thereto.

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