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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9
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3answers
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 ...
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1answer
41 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 ...
0
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1answer
80 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 ...
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1answer
100 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 (...
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2answers
93 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 ...
4
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4answers
904 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.
21
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5answers
4k 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 ...
3
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3answers
145 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 ...
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2answers
104 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, ...
4
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1answer
174 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 ...
2
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2answers
83 views

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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3answers
1k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
97 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
105 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 ...
0
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1answer
105 views

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 ...
2
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3answers
268 views

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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2answers
83 views

are there studies done on how jurors respond to biased witnesses? [closed]

A witness, in theory, should not take a side. They should not be prejudiced or biased. They are only there to describe what they see, hear or witness in objective terms. They are only there to answer ...
7
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2answers
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 ...
0
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1answer
82 views

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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2answers
149 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 ...
2
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1answer
200 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 ...
3
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1answer
275 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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0answers
37 views

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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1answer
161 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 ...
30
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3answers
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 ...
0
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1answer
114 views

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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2answers
86 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 ...
2
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1answer
119 views

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. ...
6
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2answers
480 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 ...
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2answers
34 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
121 views

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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1answer
138 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 ...
5
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2answers
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 ...
0
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1answer
349 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
51 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
79 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
91 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 ...
1
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2answers
333 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 ...
2
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1answer
287 views

What Happens to Abandoned Infant Citizenship?

In the United States, you are considered a U.S. Citizen just by being born in the United States. However, I imagine that there are situations where there is no proof that a child was born in the ...
0
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3answers
842 views

Why can't a lawyer just blame a random witness for harming a plaintiff?

It seems generally uncontroversial that in examining a witness at trial, a lawyer may not ask questions implying that the witness has engaged in some wrongdoing unless the lawyer has some basis for ...
3
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1answer
317 views

can you hire a witness as your lawyer to exclude their testimony?

I'm was just watching "American Crime Story" season 1 (O.J. Simpson trial), episode 4, around 38:30. The prosecutors were discussing the case when one asked about the testimony of Robert ...
1
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1answer
583 views

Witness sabotaging a document with wrong signature

Suppose you are asked to sign a document (a will, marriage certificate, deed poll, etc.) as a witness. You secretly disapprove of the thing taking place and therefore attempt to sabotage the document ...
4
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2answers
249 views

Defendant pays witness to say "I don't remember". What can be done to prevent/deal with this?

Say Rob commits a crime against Bob, and Matt witnesses it. Right after the incident Matt is outraged about what Rob did and sympathetic to Bob. He talks to Bob and assures him that he will tell the ...
5
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1answer
274 views

Translation of witness testimony

You are a juror on a serious criminal case in the United States. One of the witnesses, a tourist, has no knowledge of English. Questions and answers for this witness (both direct and cross) are ...
4
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1answer
508 views

Disabled fiancée is harassed by her father and I'm a witness. Am I an accomplice from not helping?

Quick context summary: I've been with my fiancée for years. Although we call ourselves as such, we are not legally married nor recognised as a couple. We're living around 500 kilometres/311 miles ...
5
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1answer
148 views

Witnessing a theft in France

When I witness a theft, for example, a pickpocket in a busy RER, am I bound by law to report the theft? Am I required/protected by law to defend the victim/intervene in the act?
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2answers
316 views

Why should a witness have to be arrested if they didn't answer the summons of a subpoena?

If this is a why of the law based on policy, I will move it to the politics site. I do not think it is right to arrest someone who hasn't broken any laws. The witness didn't probably show up due to ...
5
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1answer
362 views

What's the point of prohibiting leading questions when unfavorable answers can result in witness being declared hostile?

From what I understand, during direct examination: It is assumed that the witness you called is favorable to your case, so you cannot ask them leading questions (in order to avoid coaxing them into ...
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2answers
178 views

Can behaviour of a witness in a witness box affect the outcome of the proceedings?

I'm getting myself ready for the court hearing and I need to verify factual accuracy of the following statements. The Judge takes account not just of what is said, but also of how it is said, of what ...
1
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2answers
291 views

Consequences of contradicting one's sworn testimony in separate cases?

If a person makes a statement to police and 2 years later in a courtroom, under oath but not the same case, they make a statement that directly contradicts their witness statement does the defense ...