Chapter 11. Demeanor and Credibility

We wish to advance an old-fashioned message in this chapter and to attempt to justify that message against extremely long odds. The oddsmakers are those who have noticed that winning at all costs seems to be the theme for most of the cases we hear about in the media. The common-sense message contained in this chapter is that judges and jurors in almost every case still pay a great deal of attention to a wide range of human behavior and nonverbal cues and clues when they assign credibility to any witness. They apply this reading of demeanor especially rigorously to an expert and to the lawyer interacting with the expert on direct or cross-examination. That message runs counter to the thesis of much of the modern ...

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