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Questions tagged [witnesses]

People who were at or near the scene of an event at the relevant time, and in a position to testify as to what happened.

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7 votes
2 answers
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Is a judge's completely arbitrary determination of credibilty subject to appeal?

If a United States Federal judge credits critical testimony without fully explaining him or herself, is it subject to appeal? For example, suppose a judge awards an amount to the winning party because ...
lgshost's user avatar
  • 331
-2 votes
5 answers
264 views

What is the law relating to paying witnesses?

My understanding is that there are two types of witness, Expert and Material. These have similarities and differences. One similarity is that both can be compelled to answer questions in court in ...
User65535's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

What would happen if one side in a trial called the other side's sole attorney to the stand?

Would they have to cross-examine themselves, and if so, how?
Purple P's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
137 views

Are there lines of reasoning that can only be introduced into a case via an expert witness?

Say some technical question is important to a court case. One side brings in an expert witness on the subject to testify that the answer is in fact A in their expert opinion. Is the other side allowed ...
interfect's user avatar
  • 3,511
9 votes
2 answers
5k views

Refusing to swear the oath by asking for a lawyer

Let's say a witness is called to the stand. One who has been prepped by whichever attorney called them. When asked if they swear to tell the truth they ask for a lawyer. What happens next? I know ...
candied_orange's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
3k views

Treatment of lying/exaggerating witnesses

So I'm asking this in the setting of a criminal trial, but I'd also be interested to hear about the treatment of the same aspect in a civil trial. Assume Danny (D) finds himself accused of some ...
doppelfish's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is it possible for a witness to backtrack and claim that their previous statements were wrong because they misremembered?

One of the Youtube channels I'm following is running a series of videos about an ongoing lawsuit (within reason, of course). The latest video has an interesting point that got me wondering. Suppose ...
Vilx-'s user avatar
  • 1,005
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

What does "credible" mean?

Looking at the recently delivered findings and conclusions in Brandt et al. v. Rutledge et al., full text here. On pp. 56-57 of the PDF, one of the expert witnesses is discussed (emphasis added): Dr. ...
G_B's user avatar
  • 163
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
13 votes
4 answers
5k views

A witness (former gov't agent) knows top secret USA information. Can a court compel them to reveal the informaton?

A former US federal government employee knows information that was classified as top secret by the federal government. This information is relevant to a case. They were called to testify before the ...
Mindwin Remember Monica's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is a witness on the stand allowed to take notes?

I have read that witnesses in a court are allowed to refer to notes when they are testifying, but, without regard as to why they might feel a need to, are they allowed to take notes while they are ...
Andrew Morton's user avatar
23 votes
3 answers
5k views

What remedies can a witness use to satisfy the "all the truth" portion of their oath?

Hypothetical: A witness took an oath to tell the whole truth. The adversarial cross-examiner abruptly cuts off the witness's testimony in the middle of a statement, leaving the train of thought ...
Mindwin Remember Monica's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
414 views

Judge witnesses the whole crime

What happens if the judge by some chance witnesses the crime? Has this ever happened? Or is the judge always picked in such a way that they could never be a witness? (Out of fears of bias or whatever)...
user326964's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
59 views

Can peer/societal-pressure count as witness intimidation?

Inspired by Yakuza: Lost Judgement. Briana the boss committed a crime, and only Walter the worker directly witnessed it. Briana is well-loved in society (e.g. very sociable and nice to everyone, with ...
chausies's user avatar
  • 4,171
2 votes
2 answers
378 views

Is character assassination of witnesses allowed?

Say that one side of a trial brings a witness Walter onto the stand. If the other side doesn't like Walter's testimony (and wants the jury to not take it seriously), are they allowed to engage in ...
chausies's user avatar
  • 4,171
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is one allowed to ask for compensation for their witness testimony?

Bob witnesses a murder, so reports the crime to the police. Later, lawyers representing the state/jurisdiction come to Bob, asking him to provide witness testimony. But Bob values his time, and doesn'...
chausies's user avatar
  • 4,171
1 vote
1 answer
81 views

How can a witness to a civil matter be invited, called or compelled to give testimony?

In criminal trials I understand that one can specify a list of witnesses that a court will try to reach, but are they compelled to assist the trial with their participation? Now what if it is a civil ...
TylerDurden's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

How literally do courts in USA interpret face to face confrontation right of defendant under sixth amendment?

I will soon be a major witness in a criminal trial of another in the USA. I was present at the scene and was asked by state to testify at criminal trial. The defendant is facing felony charges against ...
Anthony's user avatar
  • 425
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why didn't the Crown inform the witness about the defense's evidence beforehand?

In 2016 ONCJ 155, the judge says with regards to a witness: [72] In an effort to explain to the Court her continued socializing with Mr. Ghomeshi following the alleged choking incident and over the ...
Petr Hudeček's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
5k views

Are witnesses allowed to give private testimonies?

Alice's grandpa Greg is on trial. Alice's testimony is crucial to get Greg convicted. But, for some reason or another, Alice doesn't want to appear in court as a witness in front of Greg to badmouth ...
chausies's user avatar
  • 4,171
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

How is the quality of an expert witness judged?

When bringing in an expert to testify something, obviously that expert doesn't have to bring in their resume and go through 3 rounds of interviewing with every member of the jury, as if they were ...
chausies's user avatar
  • 4,171
2 votes
2 answers
124 views

Should someone witness other signatures in an application letter to avoid the accusation of forgery?

In India, some years ago my brother wrote an application letter regarding release of a certain fund which was important to both him and his boss. He got the signature of his boss (for forwarding the ...
Lishachulisha Magenta's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why is a witness evidentiary if it cannot be disproven?

I am having trouble understanding the logic of the law discrepancy between hearsay and witness testimony in towards proving guilt rather than innocence.
Nick Carducci for Carface Bank's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
6k views

Can a parent insist that her child (teen) stop assisting police?

This is based on a situation early in the novel The Witness by Norah Roberts. Suppose that a sixteen-year-old girl (E) witnessed a serious crime, in fact a double murder, apparently by an organized ...
David Siegel's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
507 views

Isn't it a clear conflict of interest that expert witnesses are paid/compensated handsomely for their testimony?

Unless you're in some public office (in which case you are compelled to), expert witnesses are monetarily compensated "handsomely" to offer their testimony. See https://law.stackexchange.com/...
chausies's user avatar
  • 4,171
12 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is the penalty for a bad-acting witness/expert?

Say Alice from the defense/prosecution meets with Bob, some expert/witness, to establish some "facts", and then Alice agrees to call Bob to the stand to establish those "facts" for ...
chausies's user avatar
  • 4,171
1 vote
1 answer
79 views

What are the constraints on a civil suit (witnesses, evidence, topics) - and are they public

I am currently watching the Depp/Heard trial, and there seems to be a lot of stuff that cannot be shown, or said, and a lot of people i would expect to make a statement are absent. My guess is that ...
bukwyrm's user avatar
  • 131
-2 votes
1 answer
365 views

Usage of the term "what if any" in a question to a witness in court

I am not a lawyer - but I have a question inspired by the recent case of Depp vs Heard. As heard in the courtroom (no-pun) - I feel like the usage of the term "what if any" its not a proper ...
Edv Beq's user avatar
  • 99
7 votes
1 answer
354 views

Depp/Heard trial: "Did I read this right?" Why is this allowed? [duplicate]

In the Depp/Heard trial one of the lawyers reads headlines to Johnny Depp in the witness stand and then only asks "Did I read that right?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze3gAu8mZLM The ...
Hilmar's user avatar
  • 1,323
0 votes
1 answer
24 views

In a legal evidence submission packet, what is common nomenclature for different types of articles?

For example one might have exhibit 1, exhibit 2, and so on, but also various witness statements. Are these statements themselves also exhibits? Where else can one find references of these sorts of ...
JosephCorrectEnglishPronouns's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
142 views

What kind of lawyer would a witness need to protect themselves

My wife used to work for a company 'A'. Some employees of that company, as well as some state employees are being sued in federal court for civil rights violations (my wife is not named in the suit). ...
Mobius's user avatar
  • 189
2 votes
1 answer
170 views

Is failure to comply with Brady Rules cause for a mistrial?

The Legal Information Institute defines the Brady Rule as follows. Brady Rule Primary tabs The Brady Rule, named after Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), requires prosecutors to disclose ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
  • 5,057
9 votes
5 answers
9k views

Can a witness be ignorant about a question asked to him in court?

Is it acceptable for a witness to give an answer to a question posed to them in court as I dont know or I'm uncertain? This is not a refusal to testify; it's just a lack of knowledge. Does the justice ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
  • 5,057
1 vote
1 answer
398 views

Can an expert refuse to give expert testimony? [duplicate]

Can an expert be forced to give expert testimony with the use of a subpeona? Seeing as they are putting there reputation on the line it would not strike me as unfair to force a professional into ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
  • 5,057
4 votes
3 answers
286 views

Does partiality discredit witnesses?

In criminal trials, when a regular (non-expert) witness does not like the defendant (and admits it when asked), does that alone give a valid reason to discredit them to any extent at all? Can the jury ...
Greendrake's user avatar
  • 27.2k
1 vote
1 answer
200 views

If a witness claims his signature was taken on blank paper and then statements were written would that become null and void?

This is in relation to the Aryan Khan's Case in which one of the witness claims his signature was taken on a blank paper and he was not aware of what was going to be written on it. He signed it ...
Stupid_Intern's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
340 views

Does a witness admit perjury by testifying a different story on retrial?

Bob was a witness in a trial. That trial was later declared a mistrial and a new one was ordered. When taking the witness stand again, Bob tells a whole different story, inconsistent or directly ...
Greendrake's user avatar
  • 27.2k
3 votes
1 answer
792 views

Can a retrial admit evidence given in the original trial?

Say there was a criminal trial, and the verdict was later set aside on appeal due to some critical procedure errors happened during questioning of one specific witness (out of many). For example, a ...
Greendrake's user avatar
  • 27.2k
1 vote
2 answers
184 views

Is there presumption of lack of witness' credibility?

Can a party in a case ever argue that their opponents' lay witness lacks credibility just because there is no evidence of their credibility? Where the judge is the trier of fact (judge-alone/bench ...
Greendrake's user avatar
  • 27.2k
1 vote
2 answers
95 views

Locating summoned witnesses to serve the summons

Suppose a party to a proceeding has obtained summons to a witness from the court. The witness lives in the town (as per their digital footprint) but is not responsive. The party has no idea where to ...
Greendrake's user avatar
  • 27.2k
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

How do prosecutors prepare to cross-examine defendants?

Prosecutor Peter is preparing for a trial. Defendant Dexter may or may not take the witness stand. Peter has no idea what he would say if he does (no disclosure obligation on the defendant) but still ...
Greendrake's user avatar
  • 27.2k
0 votes
1 answer
103 views

If a witness of a criminal trial recants on the stand, how would treating him/her hostile favor the attorney who called him/her?

It's a valid method with witnesses unwilling to tell the truth, but I don't know how it would be useful. You'd at least need proof (s)he lied. And the jury naturally will trust more the witnesses ...
bestofthebeast's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
107 views

Why is it not the FBI's policy to electronically record witness interviews? [closed]

What I think is the reason is related to Title 18 of the United States Code, section 1001, which makes it a felony for anyone to make a false statement to the FBI. This, in turn, means that if there's ...
bestofthebeast's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
122 views

If a witness for the prosecution recants on the stand because induced by the defense, what can the prosecution do to make up for it? [closed]

I'll try to summarize my details here. The lawyer is the only witness to what the other witness said. So, unless the lawyer takes the stand, the other witness cannot be contradicted, especially is if (...
bestofthebeast's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
236 views

How useful a lead detective will be as a murder witness in a trial inside of the courtroom?

In my opinion, not so much. I haven't got much experience with the US justice system, but everything the detective learns is hearsay, so (s)he can't tell the jury what witness so-and-so says. (S)he ...
bestofthebeast's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is it possible that the prosecutor trying a case can become a witness of such case and be taken off it?

I suppose they can be if the prosecutor has been a victim inside the case.
bestofthebeast's user avatar
21 votes
5 answers
5k views

How are expert witnesses motivated?

As a party to a court case, how can one motivate to testify a person who has the wanted expertise? Offer them $$$? (Let's not consider those expert witnesses who make living by testifying / actively ...
Greendrake's user avatar
  • 27.2k
5 votes
3 answers
496 views

When does a warning not to talk to the police become "witness tampering"?

Every competent criminal defense attorney will advise their client (or anyone else) NEVER to talk to the police. Law professor James Duane gave a 45-minute lecture on this exact subject. So, obviously ...
Cicero's user avatar
  • 6,998
1 vote
2 answers
322 views

Witness credibility questions on cross-examination

Dan is on trial for murdering Vanessa. Wayne, who is Dan's neighbour, is witness for the prosecution. Dan's lawyer is interested to discredit Wayne's evidence, but has nothing. On cross-examination, ...
Greendrake's user avatar
  • 27.2k
5 votes
1 answer
300 views

Staying anonymous as a witness in Germany

Alice witnessed an altercation in a public park in which a knife was pulled, but nobody was hurt. The police were called, the offender fled the scene but stayed in the vicinity. Since Alice saw ...
Leon's user avatar
  • 51