TRIAL INTRODUCTION. PARTICIPANTS. Judge. A judge is a person who presides over a court of law, either alone or as part of a bunch of judges.
A judge is a person who presides over a court of law, either alone or as part of a bunch of judges
Judges are in charge of trials and make sure that they are fair. They resolve differences between lawyers. They read the law to decide what lawyers can and can't do.
There were 26,900 judges in 2008. Most worked in State and local governments.
In May 2009, judges had average yearly wages of $100,450.
The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court earned $217,400 in January 2009.
A prosecuting attorney is responsible for developing and prosecuting cases against individuals that have committed crimes.
-A defense attorney is a lawyer representing the defendant in a lawsuit.
-Public defenders are defense attorneys.
OJ Simpson was accused of murdering two people. He hired a high-profile team of several defense attorneys. After a long, drawn out trial, Simpson was acquitted of the murder charges.
Legal Definition: The person who initiates a lawsuit. The person who initiates a lawsuit by filing a complaint is called the plaintiff. When the document that initiates a lawsuit is called a petition rather than a complaint, the initiating person is usually referred to as the petitioner rather than the plaintiff. http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/p052.htm
In criminal cases, it is the person accused of a crime.
They are required to answer a complaint from either the plaintiff or the pursuer in a court of law.
The Defendant can either be given a fine or receive capital punishment or even be found innocent.
A witness is a person who has eyewitness information about, or was a victim of a criminal act.
A witness may be subpoenaed, which is a court order to show up to court as a witness, or testify by choice.
A witness will take an oath to be completely truthful during the questioning.
You may only tell the court what YOU know, and not testify any information received by an outside source.
You must listen carefully and address your answers to the court.
Opinion TestimonyBy: Brody Borgerson
Legal Definition- Testimony relaying opinion as opposed to direct knowledge of the facts at issue.
Opinion testimony may be allowed in evidence when it helps the factfinder understand or determine the facts at issue.
Such testimony by a lay witness must be rationally based on his or her perception.
A qualified expert witness may also give opinion testimony. The expert's opinion may be based on facts or data that he or she perceives directly or of which he or she is made aware other than by direct perception at or before trial.
An opinion testimony is a witnesses’ testimony based on opinion of the case and defendant instead of direct knowledge. It’s accepted in some cases but it’s generally objected because opinion rarely has anything to do with a case unless it helps the purpose of understanding or determining the facts of a case.
-May be objects found at the scene of crime or evidence in a case
Introduction of Physical Evidence
Examples include: fingerprints, footprints, handprints, cut marks, tool marks, etc.
Examinations include: impressions, taking images, removing fingerprints from evidence.
Value of Evidence: Connecting suspect with a weapon, connecting crime scene areas, etc.
Definition: An objection based on leading applies to an attorney asking questions of witnesses which suggest the answer within the question, leading the witness to the answer the attorney wants to hear. Generally leading questions are presented in the form of yes or no questions.
Objection Based on Leading
Example: The prosecution attorney is questioning a witness and presents the question, “You were at [this particular location] on [this particular night], is that correct?”
Objection based on no personal knowledge
-This objection is made when witnesses are asked a question for which they have no way of knowing the answer or have no knowledge of the matter at hand.
-The witness must have directly observed the event to testify about it.
-The witness cannot make inferences or assume something from what he or she saw.
-To make the objection, you would say: “Objection, your honor. Witness has no personal knowledge to answer that question.”
Example Scenario:There was a fight in a restaurant, and someone was badly injured. During the court hearing for this case, a witness was asked what time the people involved entered the restaurant. An objection based on no personal knowledge was made.
John in a murder trial claimed on the stand: “Clyde told me that the defendant killed the victim.”
Law evidence based on what has been reported to a witness by others rather than what he has himself observed or experienced
Objection Based on Hearsay
Definition- Unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another and not part of one's direct knowledge. An item of idle or unverified information or gossip.
Generally in common law courts the "hearsay rule" applies, which says that a trier of fact (judge or jury) cannot be informed of a hearsay statement unless it meets certain strict requirements. However, the rules are more relaxed in court systems based on the civil law system. In the civil law system, the courts, their very lenient to appreciate the evidence brought before them.
Objection To Improper Character Testimony
The objection is based on a lawyer trying to discredit a witness based on his/her character.
“Objection Your Honor: Character is not an issue in this case.”
Objection based on Beyond the Scope
Used during cross-examination – witness can only be cross examined on what they testified to during direct examination, and issues relating to their credibility.
*Questions going to the credibility of the witness is not beyond the scope.
EXAMPLE: If a witness has only been asked about his interaction with the defendant on the night of the alleged crime, after that, the attorneys cannot suddenly start asking the witness about his interaction with the defendant in the period after the crime
Example: The prosecution attorney is questioning a witness in a case concerning an automobile accident. What speed the two cars were traveling at or the blood alcohol level of each driver is admissible evidence, while the opinion that driver 1 has always been a really nice guy or that driver 2 had a hearty breakfast that morning would not be admissible.
Definition: An objection based on relevance concerns the inadmissibility of evidence not relevant to the case. Evidence that adds nothing to the case of the defense or the prosecution and has nothing to do with the case is inadmissible.
Objection based on relevance
PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE