On cross examination break your questions into short ones

The newspaper reports that during the lawsuit by the City of Seattle against the Sonic’s basketball organization the following question was asked on cross examination by the lawyer for the city:

Q.You understoodthe risk that you would be sitting here today without a new building, without a
renegotiated lease, with a lease that obligatesyou to perform through the 2009-2020 season, a lease under which there over $20 million a year operating losses at the time you signed this assumption document, correct sir?

How much better the question would be if it were broken down into short simple statements. It gives the witness less opportunity tobe evasive and itexposes any attempts to be less than candid. Try this same question broken down as follows:

Q.You knew there would be a risk of not having a new building when you signed the assumption document without a renegotiated lease?

Q.You knew the lease obligated you to perform through the 2009-2010 season when you signed the document?

Q. You knew under the lease there was over $20 million a year in operating loses when you signed the document?

Q. You knew all these things, but you chose to sign it anyway didn’t you?

About Paul Luvera

Plaintiff trial lawyer for 50 years. Past President of the Inner Circle of Advocates & Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. Member American Board of Trial Advocates, American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy, International Society of Barristers, member of the National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame & speaker at Spence Trial College
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