Panning for Gold: Making Preliminary Hearings Count


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About This Course

Preliminary and other pretrial evidentiary hearings are excellent opportunities to learn more about the prosecution case, test defense legal theories, and lock in the witness’s story. Just because we often lose these hearings on the merits does not mean that they cannot help us. It is important to think about the goals for the hearing, each witness, and each topic that will be covered in the hearing. The goals dictate our strategy and tactics at the hearing, especially our choice of questioning technique.

This session will focus on how to use “discovery cross” techniques to learn facts and lock in the witness’s testimony. We’ll look at ways to create a bullet proof transcript that will preempt and prevent the witness from evading impeachment at trial. We’ll also discuss client centered counseling tips so they know what to expect at the hearing, and understand and embrace the immediate and long term strategy. We’ll look at ways to handle objections and other legal aspects of these hearings.

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