January 20, 2021
2. Roger Dodd: A Masterclass in Cross-Examination

In this episode Roger Dodd, co-author of Cross-examination: Science and Techniques, and world-renowned expert on the matter, gives his top 10 tips for a killer cross.

  • Introduction, background to being a trial lawyer and lessons learnt along the way.
  • Explains why he started the trial clinics: had to pass on what he had been taught, obligation to teach and he gets better from each course that he teaches.  
  • Preparation is more important than presentation. 
  • Have a purpose for every factual ‘chapter’ that you do on cross-examination.
  • Start generally, moving down to specifics.
  • Roger explains the concepts of ‘constructive cross’ and ‘loops’.
  • Create visuals in the minds of the listeners. 
  • Prepare your pages and organise your questions so that you can incorporate new things as it happens.
  • ‘Trilogies’ are important for making simple propositions memorable.
  • Listening is key.
  • Incorporate ‘spontaneous loops’.    

Books mentioned: 


The Advocate: His Training, Practice, Rights and Duties, Volume 1, Edward Cox
Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques, Third Edition, Larry Posner and Roger Dodd

Courses mentioned:

How to Cross on Zoom
The South Eastern Circuit Florida Criminal Law Advocacy Course
The Australian Bar Association Advanced Trial Advocacy Intensive Course 
Roger Dodd Trial Clinic

Roger Dodd

A Board Certified Specialist in both criminal and civil litigation for over 20 years, trial attorney Roger Dodd has represented clients in legal matters since 1976. He has also been a lecturer, expert witness, and a teacher in all 50 states of the US, the District of Columbia, Russia, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and various Caribbean locations.

Roger’s main areas of practice include serious or catastrophic personal injuries, trucking cases, medical malpractice, aviation accidents, and wrongful death, and he has participated in private training courses for entities including the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Defense and the F.B.I.

However, Roger is best known, in the words of judges and legal analysts, as the “foremost expert in cross-examination in the world”, having authored and co-authored essential legal texts in the area, and teaching trial advocacy and cross-examination throughout the world.