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Examining a Sympathetic Victim:The Louima Case - Chapter 13 - Take the Witness – The Experts Speak on Cross Examination

Author: Joseph Tacopina
Page Count: 30
Published: January 2006
Media Desc: PDF from "Take the Witness – The Experts Speak on Cross Examination"
File Size: 105KB

Originally from:
Take the Witness: The Experts Speak on Cross-Examination - Hardcover
Take the Witness: The Experts Speak on Cross-Examination - PDF

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Examining a Sympathetic Victim:The Louima Case

Joseph Tacopina

      To be an effective cross-examiner, an attorney must (1) be
properly prepared—that is, know everything this witness has said
regarding the incident about which they will testify; (2) have a specific
objective to achieve with the cross-examination of the witness; and
(3) have a strategy as to how they will deal with the particular witness.
Having a strategy is critical, for being an effective cross-examiner is
not always achieved by taking a witness head on or just labeling them
an absolute liar.
       Some witnesses are more sympathetic then others, and if you
attack a sympathetic witness, the jury may turn against you, viewing
you as the “meanie” defense lawyer. Indeed, the cross-examination of
the sympathetic victim witness, the alleged rape victim, the poor old
lady who was mugged, or the investor who was defrauded of his life
savings and children’s college education money, is always a crossexamination
analogous to farming a minefield. One wrong maneuver
and the game is over.
      However, while it is incumbent on the cross-examiner to fashion a
strategy for cross-examining a witness who has the “advantage” of
being a victim, all is certainly not lost, and a proper crossexamination
of the sympathetic victim can prove the decisive
ingredient in your recipe for acquittal.
Table of Contents

Full Table of Contents from "Take the Witness – The Experts Speak on Cross Examination"


John M. Walker, Jr., Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit


Chapter 1
Cross-Examination of a Prosecution Witness in an Insanity Case
By J.W. Carney, Jr.

Chapter 2
Cross-Examination in a Deposition
By Jacalyn F. Barnett

Chapter 3
Cross-Examination in International Arbitration
By Lawrence W. Newman

Chapter 4
Cross-Examination of Experts in Tax Court Cases
By Marc M. Levey

Chapter 5
Cross-Examining a Minister of the Crown
By Gilbert Gray, Q.C.

Part Two
Coping with Witnesses we Fear

Chapter 6
Cross-Examining the Eyewitness
By James M. Doyle

Chapter 7

Cross-Examining the Well-Prepared Witness
By David M. Dorsen

Chapter 8
The Art and Instincts of Cross-examining Police Officers,FBI Agents and Other Law Enforcers
By Paul Batista

Chapter 9
"Turning" the Prosecution Witness: Making the Witness Your Own
By Steven Sadow

Chapter 10
Cross-Examining a Cooperating Witness in a White Collar Case
By Elkan Abramowitz

Chapter 11

Reflections on Cross-Examining Accomplice Witnesses
By Gary P. Naftalis

Chapter 12
Cross-Examining a Tape Recording
By Benjamin Brafman

Chapter 13
Examining a Sympathetic Victim:The Louima Case
By Joseph Tacopina

Chapter 14
Ups and Downs in Cross-Examining Celebrity Character Witnesses
By Michael Armstrong

Chapter 15
Cross-Examining the Adverse Party as a Hostile Witness
By Sheldon H. Elsen

Chapter 16
Cross-Examining the Professional Expert
By James D. Zirin

Chapter 17
Cross-Examining Lawyers and Other Professionals in Criminal Cases
By John R. Wing

Chapter 18
Cross-Examining a Crucial Psychologist in a Star-Studded Trial
By Gerald Walpin

Chapter 19
Cross-Examination Through the Eyes of the Camera
By Rikki Klieman

Chapter 20
Dueling Experts in the Ted Binion Murder Case: State of Nevada v. Richard Tabish and Sandra Murphy
By David Roger and David Wall


Chapter 21
The Importance of Memory in Cross-Examination
By F. Lee Bailey

Chapter 22
The Psychology of Cross-Examination
By Gerald L. Shargel

Chapter 23
Bringing Out What They Left Out
By Peter Fleming

Chapter 24
Communication in Cross-Examination
By Albert J. Kreiger

Chapter 25
Avoiding Seven Deadly Sins of Cross-Examination (and other musings of a courtroom street-fighter)
By Lawrence Hochheiser

Chapter 26

Cross Until They Drop
By Robert Simels

Chapter 27

Risky Business!
By Mickey Sherman

Chapter 28
Cross-Examination and the Jury
By Edward Hayes

What to Exploit Now, and What to Save For Summation
By Paul K. Rooney



Author Detail

Joseph Tacopina, Esq., criminal defense lawyer, Principal, Law Offices of Joseph Tacopina, a Manhattan-based law firm, specializing in criminal, civil, and securities litigation with an international office in Milan, Italy; Former Assistant District Attorney, Kings County District Attorney’s Office, Homicide Bureau.

Tacopina frequently lends his extensive litigation experience as a legal analyst on various radio and television outlets, including Court TV, CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox News, CNBC, and MSNBC. He can often be seen during prime time on "The O’Reilly Factor", "Hardball", and "Larry King Live."

An accomplished prosecutor turned criminal defense attorney, Joe has handled many high profile cases. Some of his most celebrated clients include: Abner Louima: Acquittal of P.O. Thomas Weise, in the infamous precinct house torture of Haitian immigrant, Abner Louima. Elizabeth Bryant: lawsuit against the City of New York on behalf of a lesbian police officer who was being harassed by fellow cops. Banana Republic: financial executive in litigation against Banana Republic claiming wrongful imprisonment that resulted in her termination; Michael Jackson: represented Jackson’s closest associate in the controversial child molestation case; Foxy Brown: Representation of internationally renowned rap artist in connection with various legal matters; NYC Councilman Bribery: City Councilman charged in Federal bribery scandal for demanding $50,000 in cash and three apartment buildings at $1.5 million below their market value in exchange for his support of a Fairway supermarket in Redhook, Brooklyn; Bernard Kerik: representation ranged from his testimony at the 9/11 Commission to his autobiography, The Lost Son.

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