Timing the evidence

You may be asked by the employment judge how long you think your cross-examination of a witness will take.

This is a difficult question, and the honest answer – even if you’re an old hand – is that you can make a guess, but you don’t really know. Some witnesses will answer very shortly, and others will treat every question as an excuse for a speech. A lot depends on how firm the tribunal is prepared to be with an evasive or woffly witness.

If you do – or are going to do – a lot of tribunal representation, you could adopt this useful habit. Include in your cross-examination notes an estimate of how long the cross examination will take. Then note the time at the beginning and end of your cross examination, and compare how long it actually took with how long you thought it would take. You’ll never rule out all uncertainty, but your estimates should gradually get more reliable.

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