How Aleri Works
Aleri provides a step by step roadmap to create cross examination questions. Each step looks like a page in our digital workbook, in which you would simply fill out. By completing the six pages in the Aleri workbook, you will be guided from beginning to end on how to effectively create your cross examination questions.
You may have heard that legal technology aims to do the work of a lawyer. Instead, legal technology aims to do the work that lawyers don’t want to do, like organization and administrative work. That’s where Aleri steps in - we manage the organization of preparing your cross examination notes so that you are free to focus on what counts- high level strategy, and high level service to your clients.
Step #1: The Focus Worksheet
Welcome to the first step to creating cross examination questions! The focus sheet is designed to summarize the role of the witness and illustrates exactly how they fit within the theory of your case.
The Focus sheet outlines:
- strengths and weaknesses of the witness, including any bias or motive
- key facts to expose that support your theory
- various cross-examination techniques that users can draw from
- the overall goal of your cross-examination (that is consistent with your theory of the case)
- keywords that you want to use in your questions (that support your theory of the case)
- legal objections that are anticipate
- opening and closing questions that allow you to start and finish strong (primacy/recency principle)
- documents you need to rely upon (such as prior inconsistent statements)
- topics of cross-examination that you anticipate (you will want to break down the cross-examination into topics, of not more than a page of questions each, and then prepare the questions for each topic)
Step #2: The Checklist
The second step in Aleri’s blueprint is the checklist. The checklist provides a list of numerous cross-examination techniques that can be used to destroy your witnesses reliability, credibility and plausibility. Essentially, drawing light to the weaknesses of your witness that you can use in order to bolster your own case forward. These strategies include, but is not limited to:
- Biases / Alternative Interests
- Prior inconsistent statements / contradictions with other evidence
- Prior convictions or instances of misconduct
- Lack of personal knowledge
- Mental / sensory deficiencies
- Drug or substance abuse
There are over 25 individual methods that you can use to compromise your witnesses reliability, plausibility and credibility. You don’t need to use all of them, but can see what strategies fit and are relevant for use to you and your case.
Step #3: The Statement Summaries Worksheet
The third step in our process is the Statement Summaries worksheet. On this page, you will condense lengthy pre-trial statements or transcripts (of evidence) into just the portions that are relevant to your case. This page will help you when you create questions because you can, at a glance, view the essential data from pre-trial statements/ transcripts.
Step #4 : The Fact Summaries Worksheet
Step 4 in our blueprint will land you on the Fact Summaries Worksheet. On this page, you will extract just the facts from pre-trial statements, and segment them by topic. This will help you easily create cross examination questions based on various topics, on the final worksheet in the notebook.
Step #5 : The Preparation Chart
The preparation chart is designed to help you quickly identify all existing discrepancies in witness statements or pieces of evidence. If for example, you see that the statement of one witness contradicts their prior statements, or the statements of other witnesses - this will be beneficial to draw out during cross examination. The chart is designed to allows you to document and view various statements / evidence for this exact purpose. Additionally, we ask that you list important facts and areas of interest to bring out that will be integrated into your questions. Generally speaking, the chart allows you to view every internal and external inconsistency to help you impeach your witness(es).
Step #6 : The Question Worksheet
Now that you are equipped with:
- The general theory of your case - from worksheet #1
- The various ways in which you can destroy your witnesses reliability, credibility and plausibility - from worksheet #2
- Relevant segments from your pre-trial statements / transcripts of evidence - from worksheet #3
- Bulleted facts, segmented by topic - from worksheet #4
- Inconsistencies between pre - trial statements and points of evidence - from worksheet #5
You use the data to create questions, while simultaneously viewing prior worksheets on the split screen feature Aleri offers. Aleri segments your questions by topic, and allows you to print this sheet (or any other sheet in the software) to pdf so that you can head to trial prepared to succeed.