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The Art of Cross Examination by Francis L. Wellmann

The Art of Cross Examination by Francis L. Wellmann

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Francis L. Wellman was a practicing attorney in New York State as well as an assistant district attorney in New York City. He dedicated the book to his two sons, hoping to encourage them to enter the legal profession.

Wellmann compiled many examples of cross-examination techniques from colleagues and notable attorneys on celebrated cases. Notable references include such legal giants as Abraham Lincoln "in his twenty-three years" of trial practice prior to his political career (chapter IV), then-Judge Benjamin Cardozo (later a ground-breaking U.S. Supreme Court justice), U.S. Attorney General Benjamin Butler, the Vanderbilt family, and others. Well-known trial attorneys and their cross-examination techniques are highlighted and interwoven with the stories of the day along with the prominent members of the legal profession, from New York City and also England.

The book gives colorful, interesting facts on the trial participants; provides insights into various claims, disputes, marriage scandals; etc. The New York Times contrasted it with other, boring legal texts, and recommended it to both trial lawyers and non-lawyers for its entertainment value. It is filled with suspense regarding the outcomes of the compelling trials within the book. Equally suspenseful are the legal outcomes from the attempts of the attorneys to sway the juries with their erudition, wit, and charm.
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