The authors' approach to conveying effective examination techniques is built upon a richly developed illustrative commercial dispute, which will ensure that these techniques are concretely demonstrated through references to a meaningful set of facts. Some twenty-four carefully drawn transcript excerpts are interspersed throughout the text to illustrate the practical application of effective examination techniques, all based on the case example.
A few selections from the detailed table of contents indicate the range and uniqueness of this work:
- A “Golden Rule” – Be Ready to Question off the Last Answer
- “Time Bombs”
- The Feckless Word “Recall”
- The Improper Leading Question Is Asked and the Damage Is Done – Now What?
- Three Foundational Concepts – Credibility, Control, and Confrontation
- Climbing the Rungs to an Admission or an Incredible Denial
- Tools of the Trade
- You Are Cross-Examining the Affiant, not the Affidavit
- The Basis of Control: Cementing the Expert In
In addition to enhancing the library of any litigator, Skillful Witness Examinations in Civil and Arbitration Cases will serve as a refreshingly new foundation for internal and external CLE trial practice programs.
Extract from Foreword
Robert Harrison and Richard Swan have been among the most skilled advocates and teachers of advocacy in our profession… Now Bob and Richard have brought their expertise and experience to bear by producing a terrific book on how to examine witnesses, titled Skillful Witness Examinations in Civil and Arbitration Cases.
Bob and Richard do not just tell trial advocates what to do; they show them how to do it….They demonstrate their advice by extensive excerpts of hypothetical examinations, again all grounded in the fact situation outlined at the beginning of the book. These demonstrations are key to why their book is different and better than other books in the field. Bob and Richard recognized – correctly in my view – that “communicating the skills and approach to effective examinations is more readily absorbed and understood with the benefit of illustrative reference to a recurring set of facts.”
I congratulate Bob and Richard on Skillful Witness Examinations in Civil and Arbitration Cases. Trial lawyers, young and not so young, law students, teachers of trial advocacy, and even trial judges owe them a debt of gratitude for their marvelous text.
Hon. John I. Laskin; retired Justice of the Ontario Court of Appeal
Robert Harrison practiced commercial and corporate litigation at Fasken LLP and its predecessors for more than forty-five years, and served as co-chair of the litigation department and a member of several senior committees of the firm. He was ranked as one of Canada’s 50 top trial lawyers by Benchmark Canada, which honoured him in 2019 with its Hall of Fame award. Robert litigated cases in many areas of substantive law, including complex contract disputes, trade secrets, securities, financial institutions, shareholder remedies, insurance coverage, directors’ and officers’ liability, environmental litigation and injunctions. Robert is particularly well known for his cross-examination skill with a wide array of witness types, and has been credited with turning around challenging cases with his ability to get to the heart of matters with penetrating examinations. He has regularly lectured on witness examinations and other subjects through professional education seminars and programs.
A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Richard Swan has practiced corporate and commercial litigation for more than 30 years, and currently serves as the co-chair of the national litigation department of Bennett Jones LLP, and a member of the firm's executive committee. He has been named by Benchmark as one of Canada's 50 top trial lawyers and as Benchmark's Ontario litigator of the year. Richard has litigated matters pertaining to corporate, shareholder, oppression, partnership, commercial contract, real property, injunction, domestic and international arbitration, restructuring, fiduciary duty and professional negligence disputes. He has extensive hearing, trial and appellate experience before a range of tribunals, arbitral bodies and courts. Richard is also an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, teaching Advanced Commercial Litigation, and regularly teaches injunctions and equitable remedies for the CIAJ.