Alumnus Steven Molo '82, founding partner of MoloLamken LLP and nationally renowned litigator, was recently profiled by Lawdragon. He spoke about his career in litigation, how the pandemic has impacted his practice, current trends in litigation, his thoughts on the future of the legal profession, and more. An excerpt from the interview follows:
You’re known as a great cross-examiner. Is there a tip or two you are willing to share to help those trying to develop that skill?
"Prepare and improvise. I enter every cross-examination having spent hours and hours researching everything inside and outside the record that can be used to elicit testimony that may help my case, undercut my opponent’s case, or undermine the witness’s credibility. I have both questions and a strategy planned in detail. But a cross-examination is not a performance, it’s a dynamic interaction between two people. Whether through fear, inexperience, or incompetence, many lawyers fail to truly listen to the witness’s answers and consider them in the context of the rest of the evidence. Sometimes a witness will serve up a nugget. You’ve got to be prepared to snatch it and run with it despite what’s in your notes. Or maybe you have to abandon a line of carefully crafted questions. Extraordinary preparation won’t make you a good cross-examiner if you lack situational awareness and the ability to react. Just as bad are lawyers who believe that the key is being quick on your feet and are unwilling to put in the time to prepare."
Read the full interview at lawdragon.com.