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Skilful cross-examination is one of the most important aspects at arbitration - here are three tactics you can use to get yours right

by , 23 September 2014
One of the processes that must take place during arbitration is cross-examination.

After you question your witnesses, the other side cross-examines your witnesses or challenges your evidence.

After this, the other side then presents their case, leads their evidence, their witnesses give testimony and you get a chance to cross-examine their witnesses and challenge their evidence.

When it's your turn to cross-examine, the aim is for you to try and trip up or contradict the witness in an effort to discredit and weaken the other side's case.

To make sure you're on top of your game when it comes to cross-examination, we recommend you apply these three tactics.

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Three tactics you can use when it comes to cross-examining witnesses at arbitration 

Tactic #1: Never launch an all-out attack on an opposition witness

It's unprofessional and will do your case considerable damage if you launch into a torrent of cross-examination and the witness comes out of it unscathed and smiling.

You should rather attack the witness's testimony and discredit his evidence by highlighting contradictions, false statements and inconsistencies.

Tactic #2: Put your own version to the other party's witness and ask him to comment on it

He may simply stick to his original story, but in all probability he will falter and start changing his original story by agreeing that certain aspects of your version may be more probable than his version.

This then casts doubt on his testimony in the eyes of the Commissioner, because the witness is now not as certain of his facts as he was originally.

Tactic #3: Never answer a question put to you by the witness

The witness is the one giving evidence, not you.

These are just some of the tactics you can use to get cross-examination right when it comes to arbitration. To get more tactics, check out the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

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