Lesson series

Direct Examinations

In a direct examination (in chief), the witness tells the story.  Learn to prepare your witness and yourself to conduct effective direct examinations (in chief).
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  • Total 70 minutes of professionally produced video.

  • Each video features presentations of the techniques and two junior litigators demonstrating them through exercises

  • Direct Examinations 1 is bundled with Direct Examinations 2

  • Show Notes

  • Handbook, Introduction to Trial Advocacy, by John Hollander in his law school course of that name

  • Advocacy Club Certificate of Completion

Present the story through your witness

In direct examination, the lawyer conducts a structured interview with a witness who can be prepared for this in advance. The witness tells the story, led by the lawyer. 

In this two-video course, you will learn how to apply the lessons from Interview Techniques to get the evidence to establish the case identified using the lessons from Case Analysis.

Where the first video focuses on proving your theory, the second focuses on introducing the witness to the decision-maker (background) and then inoculating the witness against the coming cross-examination.

Persuade the trial judge

Litigators need to present their witnesses in the best way to make their stories credible, persuasive.

In this course, you will learn how to humanize your witness, how to establish rapport to make the testimony as painless as possible.

Using the Advocacy Club's Five-and Out Technique, you will learn how to keep your witness on the right track and let the decision-maker follow the evidence as easily as possible. You will reduce risk of something going wrong, either during the direct or later, in cross.

Meet the instructor

John Hollander

A lawyer since 1978 in Ottawa, Canada , John founded the Advocacy Club in 2007 to train junior lawyers in the arts of civil advocacy. ​​

John also teaches analysis and advocacy ​techniques to students at the University of Ottawa's school of common law. He has introduced experiential courses, in which he uses the Advocacy Club methodology to train upper-year law students to become junior associates in litigation practices.

John's handbook on Examinations in Civil Cases is available from Irwin Law, on the Shop Tab. 
John Hollander, Litigator. Trainer. Author.
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