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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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). ...
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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 ...
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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 him/her in court as I dont know or I'm uncertain? This is not a refusal to testify it is just a lack of knowledge. Does the ...
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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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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1 vote
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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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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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 ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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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 (...
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0 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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5 votes
4 answers
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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.
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21 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
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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, ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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2 answers
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Do court experts need to agree to be appointed / summoned / subpoenaed?

Court experts are special class of expert witnesses that are appointed / summoned / subpoenaed by the court — as opposed to being called by the parties. In New Zealand the procedure is set out in r 9....
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Traffic Accident. Defending myself (Canada)

I would like to preface by stating this will be my first time in court, and I am looking to get some clarification about proceedings. Situation (my side of events): Got into a little "fail to ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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UK law: compromising digital material - compelling someone to inform who showed them a naked video

A video depicting a friend, is allegedly circulating at my local pub which is embarrassing and demeaning to them, showing them naked, though not actually engaged in any relational activity. The person ...
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2 votes
1 answer
115 views

Fifth Amendment privileges v. Sixth Amendment privileges in criminal trials

I'm quite confident that all users on Law StackExchange are well acquainted with the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, which confers the privilege against self-incrimination upon witnesses as well ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Why do courts allow attorneys to demand Yes-or-No answers to their questions? [duplicate]

Why do courts allow attorneys to demand Yes-or-No answers to their questions? I'm seeing a lot of that in the Chauvin trial. Attorneys are prohibited from asking leading questions, and from badgering ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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How does a witness get an attorney?

Someone who was with George Floyd the day he was killed pleaded the Fifth (source). The Hennepin County Public Defender's Office filed the notice on behalf of Morries Hall, who was sitting in the ...
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Are jurors instructed to not be influenced by the emotions of the witnesses?

The 61 year old witness for the prosecution of the Floyd case broke down and cried uncontrollably. Does the judge give instructions to the jurors that they cannot allow the emotions of the witnesses ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What determines the order in which witnesses testify?

After day 5 of Floyd case, all of the witnesses thus far appear to be from the prosecution. When does the defense call their witnesses? What determines the order in which witnesses appear in court to ...
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-5 votes
2 answers
170 views

In the USA, why are witnesses who demonstrated prejudice and bias not immediately removed and disqualified?

I just saw the witness examination of the George Floyd case. The 18 year old female witness went on to ramble about how she felt so sorry for Floyd and that her father and brothers are all black just ...
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2 votes
1 answer
220 views

Is it illegal for criminal defendant to approach the prosecution witnesses?

Is there any law that prevents criminal defendants (where they are remanded at large or on bail without corresponding conditions) or their lawyers from talking to the prosecution witnesses? I note ...
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3 votes
1 answer
285 views

Who is to examine the witness who is the self-represented plaintiff or prosecutor?

Bob is a self-represented plaintiff in a civil case (or, say, private prosecutor in a criminal case). He is also a witness. If the trial is judge-alone aka bench (not jury), he is able to conduct it ...
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What protection does Accident Investigation Authority Act really offer to airlines and pilots?

ICAO's Accident Investigation Authority Act defines as one of the objectives to protect the evidence discovered during investigation from being used in court, presumably in order to obtain truthful ...
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3 votes
1 answer
291 views

Recourse for prosecution whose witness suddenly changes their story on the stand

Say prosecution has a witness who saw the defendant do the crime and is happy to testify it on the stand. But when they take the stand, they suddenly surprise the prosecution by saying they did not ...
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30 votes
3 answers
8k views

Do I (witness) have to respond to email from defendant's lawyer?

I witnessed (heard) an alleged crime a long while back and was recorded as a witness by the police. Recently, I received an email from the defendant's lawyer requesting contact information and asking ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Saving friend by admitting

So, I would like to know what laws are there regarding the following scenario. Suppose that I commit some crime which unintentionally frames my friend. Let us say that I hack something but using my ...
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0 votes
2 answers
90 views

Is there duty to report crime that may be committed soon?

Rob approaches Bob and offers him a job: to commit a certain specific crime. Bob rejects. Question 1: At this point, does Bob have any legal duty/obligation to report Rob to law enforcement ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How many witnesses are required to a tenancy contract in England?

We need to get a new AST rental contract between ourselves and existing tenants. Given the current rules on minimising contact and travel in the UK we'd like to minimise how many people are involved. ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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Are there [forensic] organizations that contract out expert witnesses and if so, what are they called?

So to try and put my question into context, I'm thinking about writing a fan-fiction spin-off to a TV series that is in part a legal drama, but I also want it to have a scientific investigative ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Are there any cases where the witness has answered the cross-examiner to highlight what he is attempting,and what are the potential consequences

Often a cross-examiner will make suggestions that are almost certainly not believed by the cross-examiner himself. I am sure that there have been belligerent witnesses who have thrown abuse, but have ...
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1 vote
1 answer
170 views

Is it legal to hire someone to witness a situation (i.e. workplace bullying)?

I'm hoping to get some insights about the legality of hiring a witness to gather evidence. This person would be an unaffiliated third-party that simply listens in on a co-worker conversation from an ...
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5 votes
2 answers
3k views

What does it take for witness testimony to be believed?

I'm imagining a very generic situation of violence. Say there are two groups of people, W (witnesses) and A (accused). Some members of group A are accused of an act of violence from all members of ...
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Is it legal to hire a Private Investigator in Korea? If not, what's the closest alternative?

I'm writing a story and I'm asking for factual accuracy in the storyline. (Not asking for suggestions in hiring an actual PI.) I know for a fact that it's now illegal in Korea to hire a Private ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What are the conditions surrounding character witnesses in trials?

I'm interested in how certain trials work in US Law, particularly when it comes to Character Witnesses. How do defence teams go about selecting character witnesses, in particular when it comes to ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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In general should court documents not be disclosed?

I am in Canada and have brought a dispute to the Civil Resolution Tribunal. The defendant has replied. He claims that there are several people (who I know) who are prepared to corroborate his side of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
102 views

Correct way to ask written questions of an expert witness

I am the defendant in a case and the claimant has submitted evidence from an expert witness. I have been told I have the ability to question the expert witness in writing. What is the appropriate way ...
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1 vote
2 answers
336 views

How can a person with a similar experience with the defendant, help the plaintiff in a lawsuit?

I lived in a house that was shared with the landlord and other tenants in common. I have now moved out and have a lawsuit started against the landlord. From "rumors" I heard that a previous tenant who ...
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