Questions tagged [rules-of-court]

Rules of practice and procedure in a court of law. Related tags: process, civil-procedure

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What happens if I negatively answer the court oath regarding the truth?

Bailiff: (to the witness) Please raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Witness: No. What would happen? Unfortunately, in the limited ...
Aloha's user avatar
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66 votes
2 answers
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Can you refuse to swear on the Bible?

Everyone has heard the procedure to get sworn in in an American court: Put your hand on a Holy Bible and answer yes to "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so ...
ratchet freak's user avatar
37 votes
3 answers
10k views

What if I say "this statement is false" while under oath?

Let's say I am in a court proceeding, and then make swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I tell the judge I would like to make an opening remark, he says yes, and I say ...
Christopher King's user avatar
36 votes
5 answers
6k views

Is there a legal reason that organizations often refuse to comment on an issue citing "ongoing litigation"?

In news articles, I often read that some organization refused to comment on an issue because it is the subject of "ongoing litigation". This is also mentioned in many guides on public ...
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28 votes
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What was the original idea behind the practice of courtroom wigs?

English judges and barristers have for a long time had to wear wigs. What was the intended implied message by the object aesthetic? What was the look of a judge or advocate wearing that type of ...
TylerDurden's user avatar
25 votes
10 answers
8k views

Why can courts refuse evidence?

The question Layman here. This question was inspired by this question and random things I've heard/read over the years. I'm quite confused by a concept that comes up again and again and which people ...
Vilx-'s user avatar
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22 votes
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Why don't courts punish time-wasting tactics?

Inspired by the lawsuit filed amidst an ongoing controversy in the chess world. In brief, one player (Carlsen) accused another (Niemann) of cheating, and Niemann filed a defamation lawsuit against ...
Allure's user avatar
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21 votes
4 answers
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Adapt the oath of truth to a reasonable version?

I find the oath Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? an almost absurd request. It is common-sense that nobody knows the whole truth about anything, so how ...
LoremIpsum's user avatar
21 votes
2 answers
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Why was Joe Arpaio not given a jury trial?

Joe Arpaio, the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ, was found guilty of criminal contempt of court by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton on July 31, 2017. Apparently Arpaio requested a trial by jury, ...
Thomas's user avatar
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19 votes
4 answers
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Why does Double Jeopardy apply if you confess?

If you were tried for murder and acquitted - then you go out and publicly admit that they were wrong, you did actually murder that person. Where is the justice in not being able to be tried again in ...
Jon's user avatar
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19 votes
2 answers
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Why do judges use a hammer in court?

In many movies featuring a court scene, the judge is seen pounding a wood hammer on the desk to either silence the court room, or to announce a decision. Why do judges use a hammer? Is it only a ...
kevin's user avatar
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18 votes
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What is the legal basis for judges being able to see classified material?

Marcy Wheeler, in her emptywheel Twitter account, recently tweeted: I addressed this question in this post. No, Cannon does not need a clearance. Her access comes via dint of her responsibilities, ...
Simd's user avatar
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18 votes
2 answers
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Why are there two case numbers for United States v. Trump?

There are two almost identical case numbers assigned for the case United States v. Trump. The dockets are almost identical. 1:23-cr-00257-TSC USA v. TRUMP PACER CourtListener 1:23-cr-00257-TSC-1 - ...
Daniel McDonald's user avatar
18 votes
7 answers
4k views

Do countries (with rule of law) exist where a court can require the legislature to vote on a law in order to clear ambiguities?

I thought of this due to Roe V. Wade being recently overturned. From my understanding, (and if I am mistaken, then just take this as a hypothetical) it is not clear to everyone whether the ...
HanMah's user avatar
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17 votes
7 answers
8k views

What can a lawyer do if the client wants to be acquitted of everything despite serious evidence?

Alex the accused has been charged with a series of crimes. The list of charges is long (beating up his wife, speeding while drunk, trafficking...) and for most crimes, the evidence presented by the ...
PMF's user avatar
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15 votes
6 answers
3k views

Can a lawyer subject the court to a (temporary) ruse for a legitimate purpose?

This question is about the legality of a possible defence tactic that might be used in a criminal trial. It is a variation on things you see in lawyer movies fairly commonly. Suppose that a criminal ...
Ben's user avatar
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13 votes
5 answers
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Is there any limit to the rate at which court cases can be filed?

Is there a limit to the rate at which a person can file court cases? What if someone purposefully tries to file a court case every minute to disrupt the court? Can that person be punished in India or ...
protectgoodlivingbeingask's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why is it unlawful for an officer of the court to inform a jury they may find as they see fit, absolutely?

Jury nullification may not be the worlds best know term, but it's certainly no stranger to this Stack. I'm curious how it comes about, and how it is legally justified, that an officer of the court is ...
Stilez's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
118k views

UK: Is it legal to secretly audio record a meeting or a phone call? Is it possible to use such recording in court?

In the United Kingdom: Is it legal to secretly audio record a meeting (in an office) or a phone call while being a participant? Is it possible to use such recording as an evidence in court or ...
unknown's user avatar
  • 139
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why can't a party raise new arguments in United States court of appeals?

In the Lavabit judgement, I saw this: see also Agra, Gill & Duffus, Inc. v. Benson, 920 F.2d 1173, 1176 (4th Cir. 1990) ("We will not accept on appeal theories that were not raised in the ...
user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
794 views

Does the gavel have a legal significance, or is it purely ceremonial?

Judges in US courtrooms famously use a gavel at appropriately dramatic points in a trial. If a judge fails to use a gavel, or uses it at the wrong moment, is this legally significant? Or is the ...
Flup's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
6k views

Can lawyers ask judges questions?

I came across a courtroom exchange on twitter Adv: I ask this question. J. CT Ravikumar: Who are you asking the question to? Adv: To the #SupremeCourt J. Shah: You cannot ask us questions. You can ...
prash's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
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Can two people be tried together?

Bob and Carl are both accused of the same murder of Alice. Are they supposed to be tried together as one party in a single trial? be separately tried in two simultaneous trials? be tried one after ...
chausies's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
7k views

Does the law make exceptions for Good Samaritans?

I know very little about the law. When I watch court television shows, it seems like if a Good Samaritan breaks the law to stop a bad guy, the law/court turns a blind eye. Are there cases where the ...
Noah's user avatar
  • 219
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are opening and closing statements part of the record?

Lawyers are permitted to say things (e.g., "rhetorical flourishes" and "excusable hyperbole") during opening statements and closing arguments that would not be permitted during the ...
feetwet's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
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Is cross examination strictly confined to the subjects that the original examination pertained to, or can the opposing party make their own points?

Pretty straightforward question, really: what are the topical constraints of cross examination with reference to examination? Suppose party A calls witness W to the stand to ask them questions about ...
TylerDurden's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the legal consequences for serving in a jury if you are not eligible because you are not a citizen?

I got a jury summons letter last week and was asked to be in court Monday. I went and was there for 5 - 6 hours deliberating with other jurors whether or not this guy should've gotten a speeding ...
Noah's user avatar
  • 341
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Requirements to file an Amicus Curiae brief

What are the requirements or preconditions that must be met in order for someone to file an Amicus Curiae "friend of the court" brief? What form can the brief take?
Jason Aller's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
135 views

Federal Rules of Procedure - Multi-jurisdictional local rules

Has anyone anyone ever come across a full set of the complete Federal Rules that also contains an indexed version of every jurisdiction's local rules? I looked last year and I know the big 2 didn't ...
gracey209's user avatar
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8 votes
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On the limits of a law clerk to the judge to "co-judge" a case and how the communications should be recorded

On Nov 3, 2023, Judge Engoron issued a gag order to Trump's lawyers barring them (as well as Trump) from speaking about the judge's staff. This is precipitated by Chris Kise's argument that the law ...
GratefulDisciple's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

How does binding precedent work with juries in trial courts?

How is a jury in a federal trial affected by binding precedent such as that of a SCOTUS decision? If the jury is selected from ordinary people, they obviously are likely to have no familiarity with ...
temporary_user_name's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
281 views

What is involved (other than financial + evidence aspects) in bringing a private prosecution in the UK?

Suppose a person commits a financial crime in the UK (say theft, insider dealing, false accounting, fraud, or something similar falling squarely within criminal law). For whatever reason there is no ...
Stilez's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why did Christopher Tran warn Judge Kelly about the Minister for Immigration's power to cancel Djokovic's visa?

I find this detail in the recent Novak Djokovic's Australian visa saga quite interesting. On Monday, 10 January 2022, when Judge Kelly delivered his decision to reinstate Djokovic's visa, Christopher ...
Greendrake's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
2k views

May I contact a person who wrote an opposing affidavit?

I wrote an affidavit for a divorce proceeding in Georgia (USA), as a fact witness (not an expert witness). I read an affidavit of someone who wrote an affidavit for the other side. I am concerned ...
user3270's user avatar
  • 724
7 votes
2 answers
929 views

Can defendants switcheroo whenever they want?

Here is a 1994 article describing an Illinois criminal trial where defense counsel pulled the old switcheroo and sat a different person with him at the defense table instead of the defendant. The ...
Alexanne Senger's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

Calling a judge as a witness in a case that the judge is presiding over?

I want to pose a question on the limits of a defendant's right to call people to testify at trial. Let's assume that a judge is conducting a trial (the sort of trial is irrelevant - it could be ...
Jon's user avatar
  • 460
6 votes
7 answers
2k views

Can the "de minimis non curat lex" rule render actions that are otherwise illegal, legal?

My understanding is that the rule can be used in court to strike down actions in court. I was wondering whether it might also perhaps be used legitimately by someone, outside of a court case, and ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Under what circumstances would a change to the case name occur when no changes were made to the parties involved?

Given that when a Plaintiff files an unlimited civil lawsuit with a US Superior Court, the name of the Plaintiff and the name of the first named defendant in the complaint are used to form the case ...
Doedigo's user avatar
  • 107
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Simple techniques to take away from police officer's credibility

Are there any simple and easy methods to try to detract from a police officer's credibility? I'm interested in the US legal system. Example When challenging a traffic ticket, you can take notes or ...
Ebenezer Ivanhoe's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
120 views

Can defendants wear an earpiece or headset in the dock to communicate with their lawyer?

Besides its presumed prejudicial effect on juries' perception of defendants, secure docks such as the one pictured below are often criticised for inhibiting defendants' ability to communicate with ...
Mark Amery's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

What does it mean when a court case is "dismissed"?

I've heard a number of conspiracy theorists say that court cases related to 2020 election fraud were "dismissed without looking at the evidence". According to wikipedia there have been 55 ...
Brh's user avatar
  • 183
5 votes
1 answer
3k views

How might the legal system resolve court dates in a situation like the following?

Adam has a defamation suit against his ex-wife Eve for a lot of money in the United States. Adam also has a contract to perform professionally abroad from months 1 to 4. The latest court date (in the ...
Libra's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
1k views

lawyer's corruption

If a corrupted lawyer during a court case intentionally doesn't provide enough given information by his client to the judge, i.e. intentionally doesn't represent given information and loses the case, ...
Jane B.'s user avatar
  • 63
5 votes
6 answers
931 views

Are editable word documents ('.docx' files) accepted in court as evidence?

I keep most of my business documents in Microsoft Words (.docx) file format. Problem is these documents can be edited and tampered with. For my signatures, I just copy and paste a signature image onto ...
user1034912's user avatar
  • 1,501
5 votes
1 answer
271 views

Is trial courtroom layout prescribed by rule or law?

In the United States, in general criminal trial courtrooms, I have always seen the defense positioned furthest from the jury and the witness stand. However, I gather that not only is there no law or ...
feetwet's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
317 views

How does lawyers' duty of fidelity to court work?

Rules of conduct and client care for lawyers say in Chapter 13: The overriding duty of a lawyer acting in litigation is to the court concerned. Subject to this, the lawyer has a duty to act in the ...
Greendrake's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why can't federal courts issue advisory opinions?

In the United States, federal courts are not allowed to issue advisory opinions under the "case or controversy" requirement specified in the Constitution. Many states also do not allow their courts to ...
bwDraco's user avatar
  • 730
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Legal tender: using commemorative coins to pay off debt

This question is somewhat related to: Paying debts in cash in a petty way The Royal Mint issues commemorative coins. For example, they issued £20 coins (made out of silver) but usually shops and banks ...
PraiseTheBaud's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
1k views

What is the opposite of argumentative?

From the Wikipedia article: Argumentative is an evidentiary objection raised in response to a question which prompts a witness to draw inferences from facts of the case. ... For example, if a lawyer ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 939
4 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is the difference between "I swear" and "I affirm"

In court oaths, there is the option to admit one of the following: I [...] swear [...] so help me God. I [...] affirm [...]. What is the significant difference? I am looking for code, statute, law, ...
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