Essentials of Cross-Examination (On Demand Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
VIDC Re-Certification Credit: 2.0 (VIDC Information)
Designation Credit: 2.0 Trial Practice/Litigation (Designations Information)
Price: $149 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 08/31/2024


A pre-recorded streaming video replay of the August 2021 webcast, Essentials of Cross-Examination.

Course Outline

  • Improve your cross-examination skills, whether you are just starting out or have been trying cases for years
  • A plan is necessary—understand what you should be planning for
  • Discover how 2021 legal changes affect cross-examination

The allure of performing a great cross-examination convinced many of us to become lawyers: latter-day Perry Masons skillfully leading the hostile witness into damaging admissions, if not outright confessions from the witness box. In reality, it rarely works out so well. Too often the cross-examination is perfunctory, without a plan or theory, and if not actually helping the other side, fails to advance the examiner’s case.

Yes, cross-examination is partly art, but there is enough science behind it that anyone can improve by studying the rules. Our expert faculty lay those rules out clearly during this seminar. Using demonstrations of both ineffective and effective cross-examinations, they teach you how to avoid common pitfalls and follow best practices. Significant time will be spent on impeachment and the intersection between cross and impeachment.

Among the topics to be discussed:

  • New issues arising from the 2021 legal changes that affect cross-examination
  • How to plan cross-examination in advance
  • How to control a witness with leading questions
  • How to avoid “opening the door” to attacks on your witness
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Hon. Kimberley S. White, 10th Judicial Circuit of Virginia / Halifax
Brendan U. Dunning, The Law Office of Brendan U. Dunning / Halifax


Hon. Kimberley S. White, 10th Judicial Circuit of Virginia / Halifax

Judge Kimberley S. White graduated from Mary Washington College (now University of Mary Washington), in Fredericksburg, VA, in 1985 where she received degrees in English (Literature Concentration) and American Studies. She went on to receive her Juris Doctor in 1988 from Walter F. George School of Law of Mercer University, Macon, GA. Judge White practiced law at Woods, Rogers, P.L.C. (Formerly Woods, Rogers & Hazlegrove) in Danville, VA, as an Associate and as a Principal. She served as Commonwealth’s Attorney for the County of Halifax, Virginia from January 2004-2012. Earlier in her career she was an Assistant Public Defender and a Special Assistant United States Attorney. Judge White was appointed by the Governor as a Judge for the Tenth Judicial Circuit of the Commonwealth of Virginia in August 2012 and was elected by the General Assembly in January 2013.

Active in the Virginia State Bar, Judge White chaired the Committee on Lawyer Discipline, which oversees the Bar’s disciplinary system, for 4 years. She has lectured and taught on ethics, trial advocacy, and HIPAA to attorneys throughout the country. Judge White also has taught classes on gang prosecutions and child pornography detection to law enforcement audiences. She was honored by Virginia Lawyer Media by being named to the 2011 Class of the Influential Women of Virginia. The year prior she and another elected prosecutor were the first-ever sitting Commonwealth’s Attorneys to be elected as Fellows of the Virginia Law Foundation.

A life-long Virginian, Judge White has been married for nearly 30 years to her husband, Dave. They have 2 children and a chocolate lab, who keep them busy cheering on the Hokies, attending recitals and plays, and playing catch.

Brendan U. Dunning, The Law Office of Brendan U. Dunning / Halifax

Brendan U. Dunning has tried cases as a prosecutor, defense attorney, and civil litigator. He worked as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for seven years in the County of Halifax. From 2004-2008, he served as the Regional Drug Prosecutor for seven Virginia counties. In addition, he served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Virginia. In 2003, he became the first and only prosecutor to obtain a conviction by jury trial under the Virginia Drug Kingpin Statute, a life sentence which was affirmed on appeal in Dunaway v. Commonwealth, 52 Va. App. 281.

Mr. Dunning has taught trial practice, impeachment, criminal law, and other legal subjects since 2001. He has taught for the Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Services Council, the National District Attorney’s Association, Virginia CLE®, and several local organizations training attorneys and law enforcement personnel. In 2008, Mr. Dunning taught drug prosecution at a national meeting of prosecutors in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mr. Dunning has tried several high-profile jury trials in Southside Virginia. He also maintains a busy appellate practice. He has been a contributor to National Public Radio, and has been published in The Economist and the Wall Street Journal.

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