Direct Examination of Witnesses - Chapter 12 - Case Preparation and Presentation: A Guide for Arbitration Advocates and Arbitrators
Rocco M. Scanza and Jay E. Grenig both serve on the American Arbitration Association's labor panel.
Mr. Scanza is an Attorney, Arbitrator and Mediator of labor and employment disputes. He is also the Executive Director of Cornell University's Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, where he teaches courses in workplace alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Scanza was formerly a national Vice President at the American Arbitration Association. He graduated from Queens College in New York City and Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He lives and works in Ithaca, N.Y.
Mr. Grenig is a Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School. He has served as an arbitrator or mediator in over 2,000 labor and employment disputes. A member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, the American Law Institute, and the Order of the Coif, Mr. Grenig is also a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He formerly chaired the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools and served as a consultant to the National Commission on Employment Policy. He has written or co-written numerous books and articles.
§ 12:01 GENERALLY
Direct examination is the questioning of a witness by the party who called the witness. The questioning should obtain answers establishing facts favorable to the contentions of the questioner. Because direct examination is the most important part of the hearing, you should never present a witness with whom you have not previously discussed the witness’ testimony. The direct examination should start at the beginning of the story and tell the story in a logical order.
§ 12:02 GENERALLY
Effective direct examination presents the facts of your case in a clear, logical, and persuasive manner. This is not easy to do, as the facts must be developed through witnesses, who may know only a portion of what happened, who may have poor memories, who may not tell the truth, or who may contradict each other. Because the witnesses testify only in response to your questions, this places a burden on you to be well prepared and properly organized. The success of your direct examination is closely related to the amount of time you spend preparing for it.