It is vitally important to have a plan of all the points you need to cover when questioning a witness. You will usually have page numbers of documents you need to refer to along side each point. I tick each point off as it is covered.
I think that it is best not to have a script. You should listen carefully to the answers you are given because frequently you will then “piggy back”, and ask questions on the back of the answer you have just received.
You need to make sure that you put to the witness all the disputes of fact – even if you are sure they are just going to deny what you ask. (Preferably without saying “I put it to you…”) But remember, while you must give them the chance to deny it, you should try not to give them the chance to re-state their version – ask closed questions.
Finally, it is important to bear in mind that to “cross examine” is not to “examine crossly”!
Rebecca Tuck is a barrister specialising in employment law at Old Square Chambers.