Haytham Faraj

Thursday, October 28th, 2021 // From 1:30pm to 5:00pm

Subject: Cross-examination: Lessons from the War-fighting Manual

3 hr Lecture


Haytham Faraj is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who specializes in civil rights, personal injury and criminal defense work. He represents clients in serious injury, civil rights and complex criminal cases in state and Federal courts. Mr. Faraj has represented clients in numerous complex cases that gained national and international notoriety. He has accumulated a remarkable record of successes that reflects his firm commitment to his clients and their interests. Mr. Faraj is licensed to practice in Illinois, California, Washington DC, Michigan and Iowa. He is also admitted to practice before numerous federal district and appellate courts. Mr. Faraj has developed a well-known and respected reputation as a winning, aggressive and relentless trial lawyer. He attributes his courtroom successes to his military training, discipline, and commitment to be better prepared, more skilled and more ready to engage in the legal combat that is trial practice than his opponents.

Cross-examination: Lessons from the War-fighting Manual

Plaintiffs’ Trial lawyers frequently refer to one another as warriors. They are
warriors of the courtroom engaged in battle against, usually, an enemy with
superior resources but a weaker will to fight and prevail. The analogy to combat is
appropriate because the trial lawyer, like the combat warrior, is engaged in a battle
for survival, for his client, for himself for principles of justice and the right to
pursue happiness.
In this presentation, the principles of “Warfighting” and specifically the
philosophy of “maneuver warfare” as discussed in the “Warfighting Manual” will
be applied to principles of trial and cross-examination strategy so that the trial
the lawyer will 1) identify the opponents center of gravity; 2) identify and avoid
friction; 3) understand the importance of story in cross-examination as a tool to
reduce friction and cognitive load for the jury; 4) apply the concepts of maneuver
warfare to write a cross-examination story that appeals to the jury’s collective
schema and acceptance of universal truths; and 5) identify and use metaphors and
analogy to persuade.



1. Provide a short history of the “Warfighting Manual” as it applies to trial and
2. Identify the principles from the “Warfighting Manual” that apply to 1) trial
and 2) cross-examination
3. Understand how the concept of friction impacts a lawyer’s ability to conduct an
effective cross and to win at trial.
4. Understand how the concept of a clash of independent wills interferes with the
Jury’s ability to be persuaded to adopt and believe the plaintiff’s version of
5. Understand the concepts of cognitive ease and cognitive loads as they
impact a jury’s ability to receive and process information.
6. Write a cross-examination in a story format that avoids friction.
7. Conduct a cross-examination using the story cross that appeals to the jury’s
schema and incorporates universal truths that the jury will embrace.
8. Learn to use listening skills that enable opportunities to be spontaneous
during cross-examination
9. Understand the importance of the use of metaphor and analogies in cross-examination.
10. Appeal to visual learning in cross-examination by use of visual aids or
dramatic action.
This will be a ninety-minute presentation of the mixed lecture and audience
participation using visual aids and props. Following the presentation, audience
members will be divided into working groups of 6-8 participants to apply and
practice the concepts discussed in the presentation.