Friday, February 23, 2007

AAJ Competition

Well one week left before I take my former ATLA now AAJ trial team to compete against law schools across the nation. I'm nervous for them. Will they win, I have no idea. We are scrimmaging a law school in the next state for practice this weekend. I guess I will have a better idea. Will these law school kids be able to walk out of school and into a courtroom most definitly yes. Have a lured any into becoming public defenders we shall see.
cross your fingers and wish us luck

Friday, February 16, 2007

Paraphilia Phriday 12

Today's paraphilia is Hemophilia:

But I don't think young Prince Alexis would like that, so I'll use a Latin prefix.

How about Sanguiphilia, instead? (Those who prefer Greek could use hemolagnia instead.)

Apparently young Ms. Sutton would like that. According to an unnamed man, who was using drugs and alcohol with her, he let her tie him up but got cold feet when she brought out a knife, stabbed him (lightly, I presume) and told him she liked to drink blood. He escaped, she followed with a pickaxe. Sounds like somebodies forgot their safe words.

The Spanner case from England shows some of the problems that people who enjoy edgeplay run into - Whether one can consent to conduct that is likely to amount to something more than simple battery.


Women's Heart Month

The center of Disease Control and Prevention released a study this week stating that the top five states with heart disease are West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and Oklahoma. The five lowest were Colorado, DC, Hawaii, Minnesota and Montana. The only connection I could see was the five highest eat chicken fried steak okay maybe that wasn't in the report. But since it is February and it is Heart month and our field of choice is a little bit stressful, make an appointment and go have the ticker checked out.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

From the Mouths of Babes - Evidence Rule 613 vs. 801(d)(1)(A)

I recently helped Professor Janet with one of her classes. One of the things the kids had to work on was laying a foundation for impeachment by prior inconsistent statements. They had to unlearn some previous (not Janet's) mis-teaching, but one thing they always got out was that the witness was under oath and subject to perjury. I usually ask that as part of cluing the witness in to where they were when they made the statement, but I didn't think it was a necessary part of the foundation.
So I've relearned where that came from.

Impeachment using prior inconsistent unsworn statements comes in under Rule of Evidence 613, and can only be used as impeachment evidence, not as substantive guilt/innocence evidence.

Impeachment using prior inconsistent sworn statements comes in under Rule of Evidence 801(d)(1)(A), and can be used both as impeachment evidence, and as substantive guilt/innocence evidence.

(For non-lawyers), a jury may be required to consider evidence only for certain reasons. For example, if a witness has made other statements before trial (like in a police report) and the witness says something different in trial, the witness can be impeached by their prior inconsistent statement (in the police report) However, that inconsistency can only be used to show that the witness shouldn't be believed; it cannot be used to prove (or rebut) that what the witness says happened before really happened. The prior inconsistency is not "real" or substantive evidence that a jury can use to determine guilt or innocence.
However, as a matter of practice, once a jury hears something, the jurors will use that evidence for whatever they want to use it for. This is one reason why defense attorneys don't often have their clients testify when the clients have felony convictions - although the jury will be instructed that they can only use the fact of the prior conviction to gauge the defendant's credibility as a witness, juries will often use the prior convictions to find the person guilty because he or she is a bad person.

Our jury instructions provide only for Rule 613 impeachment by prior inconsistent statement instructions, so the jury is instructed that they cannot use the impeachment evidence for their guilt/innocence determination - I need to make sure I ask for a modification for prior inconsistent sworn statements.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Check ... and Mate.

I just got a report from the police lab. Statistically speaking, if there were 25,000 planet Earths, then I might find some other guy besides my client whose saliva was on the bag of drugs that the police found after the foot chase of my guy ended.
On a clear night, one can see about 2500 stars without magnification.
Here are 70,000 stars:

I wonder which one that other guy is orbiting?


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Shout out to the Trial DOG!!!

Jack just recieved a not guilty on a Robbery with Firearm!!!!