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In that trial is competitive storyshowing in context, H.T. Smith, Director of FIU’s Trial Advocacy Program, rightly insists that the trial lawyer necessarily filters most every advocacy decision through the prism of “it depends,” including when on cross-examination to impeach a witness with a prior inconsistent statement. Whether the prior statement helps you, hurts you, or, albeit inconsistent, does neither, the when question takes these factors into consideration: • Significance―the contrast between the statements • Materiality―the importance of the impeachment to your case • Timing―when you learn of the impeachment opportunity Do the math.
National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA)
Impeach, advocacy decision, trial
H. Scott Fingerhut, Contributor, in COLLECTIVE WISDOM: When to Impeach With an Inconsistent Statement, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) 2021. at www.nita.org