These videos, created with Xtranormal's editing tool, illustrate a variety of evidentiary points--with an attitude. View our rendition of the infamous trial of Sir Walter Raleigh, an event that still informs modern rules against hearsay. Eavesdrop on lawyers advising their clients, consulting with colleagues, and negotiating with adversaries. And, if you've decided that you're not cut out for trial practice, check out Justin's new job in the last video.
The Tattooed Lip View Video [Character Evidence, Habit, and Unfair Prejudice]
This movie represents Chuck Cowen's testimony in United States v. Yazzie, 188 F.3d 1178 (10th Cir. 1999). Yazzie was charged with murdering Thomas Briggs. To support his self defense claim, Yazzie called the bartender who testifies in this movie. Is the testimony admissible evidence of habit or inadmissible character evidence? The script accurately reports Cowen's evidence as summarized by the appellate court. Patty Mason, a public defender, conducts the examination in this fictionalized version.
Crack Addict on the Stand View Video [Competence, Character, Prejudice]
The United States has charged Henry Johnson with distribution of crack cocaine. In this clip, prosecutor Derek Obama (alter ego of the President) calls one of his witnesses against Johnson. The witness, Mary Green, answers as best she can. What objections would you raise as defense counsel? What questions would you ask on cross examination? The testimony is based on United States v. Johnson, 584 F.3d 731 (7th Cir. 2009), with slight embellishment.
Character Evidence in Civil Cases View Video [Character Evidence]
Lawyers associate character evidence with criminal trials, but this evidence can play a key role in civil litigation. Erin Brock, the lawyer for a sex discrimination plaintiff, uses her superior knowledge of character evidence to negotiate a settlement with the defendant's attorney (Ted Boot). Stop the video after each of Ted's statements and see if you can formulate Erin's response. Bonus question: If the case goes to trial, can the plaintiff introduce Ted's statement about the manager's "old fashioned" behavior?
The Trial of Sir Walter Raleigh View Video [Hearsay]
Sir Walter Raleigh stood trial for treason in 1603. The only evidence against Raleigh was hearsay, and he had no opportunity to confront his accusers. But 17th century English law allowed hearsay evidence, and Raleigh was convicted. Courts frequently refer to this trial to illustrate the evils of hearsay.
Witness for the Prosecution View Video [Hearsay and Character Evidence]
US Attorney Sherry Holmes discusses a pending case with her assistant, Ken Watson. Are they right to worry about defense counsel's cross examination of this witness? Will defense counsel be able to ask about the tattoos? What about displaying them to the jury? The discussion is based on United States v. Figueroa, 548 F.3d 222 (2d Cir. 2008).
Prosecution Dilemma 2.0 View Video [Hearsay]
US Attorney Holmes and her assistant, Ken Watson, are at it again. When an assault victim dies, the prosecution faces proof issues. The government will prevail only if Ken can identify a hearsay exception to admit the victim's statements. Pause before each of Ken's statements to formulate your own responses.
The Joint Action View Video [Hearsay and Character Evidence]
Mary Green, who appeared as a prosecution witness in "Crack Addict on the Stand," is in trouble again. Here, she discusses pending charges with her public defender. The charges resemble those in United States v. Mares, 441 F.3d 1152 (10th Cir. 2006). You can't make these facts up! Again, you can pause the video after each of Mary's statements. As her lawyer, how would you respond?
Med Mal Chapter One View Video [Privileges]
Dr. Ronald Trump has been sued for medical malpractice. He shares his feelings about the suit with an unidentified woman. Is the conversation privileged? Or will the plaintiff be able to force the woman to repeat the conversation in court? Does it matter whether the woman is Trump's wife, friend, or mistress? This video was inspired by a similar scene in Robin Cook's thriller Crisis, and the characters adapt some of the lines from that book.
Med Mal Chapter Two View Video [Hearsay and Privileges]
This video complements "Med Mal Chapter One." Here, trial attorney Florence Lee Bailey advises Dr. Ronald Trump on his malpractice defense. Trump reveals that the woman in "Med Mal Chapter One" was his mistress. Bailey gives Trump the bad news that none of his comments to a mistress, other friends, or colleagues are privileged. The plaintiff can call all of those people to testify against Trump in court. Bailey also asks Trump about his facebook postings, a common source of contemporary evidence. This video, like "Med Mal Chapter One," builds loosely on a scene from Robin Cook's Thriller Crisis and draws some language from that scene.
Shall We Dance? View Video [Presumptions]
Cindy and her fiance explore the four types of presumptions used in the law. Rules of substantive law govern the effect of particular presumptions, but understanding the general categories can help you recognize those effects.
Justin Lands a Job View Video [Social Media Evidence--and Life Beyond the Law]
Justin's mother hoped he would become a lawyer, but he has landed a job as a social media forensic specialist. What's that? Listen in as Justin explains things to his mother.