Roger Dodd, partner at Spohrer Dodd, helps breathe new life into a century old book

Top Quote Dodd contributed to most recent edition of “The Art of Cross-Examination”. End Quote
  • Jacksonville, FL (1888PressRelease) June 22, 2017 - Roger Dodd, one of the country’s top experts on cross-examination, has contributed to the most recent edition of one of his most cherished books; “The Art of Cross-Examination” by Francis Wellman. Dodd was approached by the publisher, Trial Guides, and asked to write the forward for a re-release of the work, which was originally published in 1903. After consideration, both parties agreed that Dodd would not only provide the forward, but commentary throughout and a conclusion to bring the content up to date.

    “Wellman’s book has been my bible of sorts on cross-examination since I first read it in the 1970s,” said Dodd. “While some of the worldviews and language are reminders of the lifestyle and mindsets of more than a century ago, the vast majority of Wellman’s ideas and concepts have not eroded. I am honored to have been asked to provide input to this guide that has been such a help to me as a trial lawyer. I hope others will utilize it to improve on their cross-examining skills.”

    Dodd, an accomplished attorney and author of several books on cross-examination techniques, said Wellman’s core concepts are still valued as an important guide for attorneys to become better cross-examiners. One of the main concepts that Wellman discusses is the need to base cross-examinations on detailed facts, rather than attacking the witness’ theory of the case. This is referred to as constructive cross-examination. Dodd said this concept still holds true and agrees with Wellman’s statements that a cross-examiner must focus on their own theory of the case and create ways to use an opposing witness to support that theory.

    Wellman also emphasized appropriate courtroom demeanor, such as the language of the eye or the tone of the cross-examiner’s voice, which Dodd said is an important lesson for a trial lawyer. Dodd and Wellman also both agree that preparation for cross-examination is key to the case and closing arguments do not win cases.

    Dodd said even as an experienced lawyer, he continues to review Wellman’s original book and works to improve his own skills as a trial lawyer. He said the applications of Wellman’s principles, the environment in which cases are tried and the evolving culture will continue to change, but Wellman’s core concepts stay relevant. Dodd said participating in this project has completed a circle for him that he began some 40 years ago.

    Dodd, a partner at Spohrer Dodd, is also a partner at Dodd & Burnham, P.C. in Valdosta, GA and Dodd & Keundig in Park City, Utah. He is board certified in civil trials and was board certified in criminal trials for more than 20 years. Much of his practice focuses on catastrophic personal injury, trucking cases, medical malpractice, aviation accidents and wrongful death. He has lectured and taught lawyers and judges in all 50 states, and multiple foreign countries. He is also a frequent guest and commentator on televisions programs. His TV and legal credits include CourtTV, TruTV, CNN, ABC, CBS, and cable TV.

    About Spohrer Dodd
    Spohrer Dodd is an elite law firm comprised of seasoned trial attorneys, expert professionals and specialized staff. Their experience, diligence, and creativity allow them to help clients achieve positive legal outcomes in the most challenging and complex personal injury cases, which are often cases that other personal injury law firms are unwilling to undertake. Their team of board certified trial lawyers, attorneys and staff, the firm's intellectual and financial resources, and their network of specialized experts are dedicated to every case their Jacksonville law firm handles. For more information, visit

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