Jefferson and Washington monuments

Gilding the Lily on Cross-Examination

Jamison Koehler Trial Advocacy

After you get what you need on cross-examination, you sit down. The charge is unlawful entry. Both defendants had been issued a barring notice from the Meadowbrook Run Apartments, and the government alleges that the defendants violated this notice by entering an apartment at Meadowbrook Run. During cross-examination, Attorney A gets the police officer to testify that he saw the …

Jefferson Memorial

Coles v. U.S.: The Right to a “Meaningful Degree” of Cross-Examination

Jamison Koehler Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Legal Concepts/Principles, Opinions/Cases

  Although the ability to cross-examine a witness is a critical component of the Sixth Amendment right to confront your accusers in a criminal case, this right is not without boundaries:  “Once sufficient cross-examination has occurred to satisfy the Sixth Amendment, . . . the trial judge may curtail cross-examination because of concerns of harassment, prejudice, confusion of the issues, …

Jefferson Memorial

Cross-Examining a Prosecutor

Jamison Koehler Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Trial Advocacy

  I have been called to testify in a criminal case. A couple of weeks ago I represented a woman seeking a civil protection order against a former boyfriend. With the boyfriend now facing criminal charges for contempt of court, certain admissions he made to me during the course of that representation have become relevant to the criminal proceedings. It …

U.S. Capitol Building

Blades v. U.S.: On Cross-Examination and Bias

Jamison Koehler Evidence, Opinions/Cases

The right to cross-examine witnesses is one of the defendant’s most important trial rights.  And, among the areas for cross-examination, what could be more important than bias?  An inability to accurately perceive events could result in an honest mistake.  Bias suggests that the witness might be deliberately coloring the testimony. In Blades v. United States, 25 A.3d 39 (D.C. 2011), …