The Advocacy Podcast

Carl Heaton QC

In this episode, Carl Heaton QC, Director of Public Prosecutions of Queensland, Australia, advises on how to make examination-in-chief (direct examination) engaging, how to bring your witnesses to life, and how to make your closing arguments as compelling as possible. 

Show notes

  • How Carl did, and young advocates should, develop advocacy skills and style.
  • Every moment in the courtroom is an opportunity to persuade.
  • Preparing for your own witnesses’ testimony.
  • Questions for examination-in-chief: harder than it looks or not?
  • The common mistake in examination-in-chief.
  • Dealing with dry evidence and bringing your case to life.
  • Witnesses that are reluctant or slightly hostile: the ‘three gets’, the danger, and using your judgment.
  • Distressed and emotional witnesses.
  • The unsavoury, objectionable, or belligerent witness.
  • Professional witnesses.
  • Re-examination: Ever? Never?
  • Closing speeches: how to prepare for the sexy part of trial.
  • Opening speeches: grabbing attention, telling your story, and connecting with your audience.
  • Sounding out your arguments.
Course mentioned:

Australian Bar Association’s Advanced Advocacy Workshop

Carl Heaton QC was appointed as the Director of Public Prosecutions of Queensland, Australia in June 2020, having been called to the bar in 1990 and taken silk in 2010. He has been employed in various roles by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions between 1989 and 2007. He also spent nine years as the Deputy Public Defender, including 10 months as the Public Defender prior to being appointed as the Deputy DPP in 2016. He has great experience and expertise in matters across the full spectrum of the criminal justice system.

 

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