Demonstrative Evidence: When You Want to Show and Tell

82770181An episode of This American Life described the failed effort to get a Tic-tac-toe-playing chicken into evidence in the death penalty case of a mentally ill man with a very low IQ. Defense counsel was trying to rebut a psychiatrist’s testimony that the defendant was aware he was going to be executed based on his beating her in a game of Tic-tac-toe. We’ll never know who would have won the game; the court refused to admit the chicken because it “would degrade the dignity of the court.” Although the chicken didn’t work out, demonstrative evidence can be a very powerful courtroom tool. Continue reading

Inadmissible Evidence May Still Get In for a Limited Purpose

78494947It may not be favored by courts or be the parties’ preference, but there’s a place for evidence to be admitted for a limited purpose. It can be seen as either a creative solution to an evidence admissibility problem or a way around the rules, depending on your perspective. Continue reading

From Website into Evidence

135874637Many courts view the content of Internet websites with skepticism, or as one court put it, the Internet is a “large catalyst for rumor, innuendo, and misinformation.” Lorraine v Markel Am. Ins. Co. (D Md 2007) 241 FRD 534, 555 n30. Watch out—this attitude might impact your efforts to authenticate and get website postings into evidence.  Continue reading

They Know Computers But Not How to Help Your Case

183145432When corporate goes criminal, i.e., an investigation involving a corporation leads to a criminal case headed to trial, you often need computer forensic experts to testify about the evidence. Such experts know all about electronic devices and data storage and retrieval, but they don’t necessarily know how to clearly relay that knowledge. It’s up to you to prepare your computer forensics expert to testify effectively. Continue reading

Should You Make an In Limine Motion?

procon_153899206The next time you’re deciding between excluding evidence via a motion in limine or taking your chances at trial, make sure to review this chart of the pros and cons of motions in limine. Continue reading

Like Steve Jobs, Unavailable Witnesses Can Still “Appear” at Trial

451334569In the trial of an antitrust case against Apple, Steve Jobs will come back to life as a key witness—if only in the form of his videorecorded deposition. Continue reading

Getting Edited Video into Evidence

458909277With court time and patience at a premium, it may be best to introduce an edited version of a video recording into evidence instead of the whole—possible very long—version. But before you do this, you’ll have to authenticate your truncated video. Continue reading

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