Capsules 18-20: Cross-Examination

These four capsules consider the law governing cross-examination (not the technique!).  Capsule 18 introduces cross-examination, and covers some basics including: who gets to cross, what are the basic legal requirements, and when MUST you cross.  Capsule 19 gets to more difficult terrain: the collateral fact rule.  Capsule 20A introduces a major “exception” to the collateral fact rule, the rules governing prior inconsistent statements, and Capsule 20B looks at a particularly problematic area: prior convictions of a defendant in a criminal case.

As always, a few caveats!

  1. Needless to say, this is not legal advice.  It is designed to provide introductory explanations of certain topics in the law of evidence.
  2. These materials were designed for my students taking part in the Flipped Classroom – as such they are NOT supposed to be comprehensive or exhaustive of the subject.
  3. They were made with time constraints in mind.  There are errors throughout, and though I feel confident about the product generally, I did not attempt to correct every mistake made.  The goal was to put a good product together in a short period of time.
  4. Often, in the interests of time, certain points are generalized.  This doesn’t mean they’re “wrong”, but nuances are often fleshed out in the course materials or in class.  Rather than include caveats with every sentence, I sometimes make broad generalizations even though I’m aware there might be exceptions that can occasionally arise.  Again, the goal is to promote a generalized understanding that provides a platform for deeper learning.
  5. I will heartily disavow any attempt to rely upon these in conflict with another Professor, judge, lawyer, etc.  Thus, anyone who says “yes, but Professor Sankoff said X”… will receive no support from me!  Especially where exams are concerned, it is always good practice to follow your Professor’s view of the law.  If this material helps you, by all means use it, but do so with care.

Capsule 18 – Cross-Examination

Capsule 19 – The Collateral Fact Rule

Capsule 20A – Prior Inconsistent Statements

Capsule 20B – Collateral Fact: Defendant’s Prior Criminal Record

This material has taken considerable time and effort to produce.  I ask only two things in return.  First, if you like these capsules – pass them on.  The primary objective here is to share a deeper understanding for the subject area I love most.  Second, if any of this was in any way useful, I urge you to let me know.  A short note at psankoff@ualberta.ca would really make my day!

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