The Impeachment Process is the only way to kill witness credibility. However, not so many teams use it correctly and can often be hurdle themselves into the “improper impeachment” zone.
As an attorney, you MUST make sure that the witness has lied by re-asking the question with, “Is it your sworn testimony today that …?” and making sure they agree to their sworn testimony. I have seen too many attorneys make the mistake of not re-asking the question or re-asking the question but ignoring the witnesses new answer.
The Impeachment Process
- Is it your sworn testimony today that _____________?
- Ex: Is it your testimony that you didn’t speak with John?
- You gave a statement prior to todays trial, correct?
- Your honor, may I approach opposing counsel and the witness with this witness’ affidavit?
- This is your witness affidavit?
- And you had 24 hours to make any changes to it?
- Is it a fair and accurate copy?
- And this is your signature on the last page?
- Please read silently as I read aloud line #(s)
- Ex: Please read silently as I read aloud lines 30-35
- Did I read that correctly?
- Retrieve the document from the witness
- Ex: Your honor, permission to retrieve the document