Appropriating Women’s Thoughts: The Admissibility of Sexual Fantasies and Dreams Under the Consent Exception to Rape Shield Laws

This Article examines the admissibility of women’s sexual fantasies and dreams under the consent exception, traces its origins, highlights its application, argues that sexual fantasies and dreams should not be admissible under the consent exception, and proposes a practical solution to address this problem.

ARTICLE: Mise en Scène and the Decisive Moment of Visual Legal Rhetoric

The French phrase “mise en scene” translates to a: the arrangement of actors and scenery on a stage for a theatrical production b : stage setting 2a : the physical setting of an action (as of a narrative or a motion picture) : context https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mise-en-sc%C3%A8ne In this important article, Professor Michael Murray uses the 15

Your Bias Is Rubbing Off on Me: The Impact of Pretrial Publicity and Jury Type on Guilt Decisions, Trial Evidence Interpretation, and Impression Formation

Does pre-trial publicity have a lasting effect on juror bias, predisposition, and verdict votes?  The answer, according to this study, is “yes,” at least sometimes.  More importantly, judicial inquiries of “can you put that outside of your mind” and judicial admonishments to “decide this case on the facts, and not on anything you read or

THEATER AND FILM TECHNIQUES, PERSUASION AND COURTROOM CHOREOGRAPHY

Lawyers must be persuaders, and to persuade they must tell and show stories.  Keith Belzer, an exceptionally gifted lawyer and trainer, details how lawyers may and should use techniques from theater and film – particularly in ‘staging’ the courtroom and using and manipulating space – to most effectively communicate the story of the case.

“WERE THEY LYING?” QUESTIONS: A PRACTITIONER’S LOOK AT THE CALIFORNIA RULE VERSUS THE FEDERAL RULE,

When is it permissible for a lawyer questioning a witness to ask that person whether a previous witness or someone whose out-of-court statement was admitted was lying?  This article confirms that the basic approach, especially for federal court trials, is “never.”  It also shows that California may recognize limited exceptions to the general proscription. This

What Kahneman Means for Lawyers: Some Reflections on Thinking, Fast and Slow

Written for economists, the classic THINKING FAST AND SLOW by Daniel Kahnemann should be recommended reading for lawyers.  Until advocates in and out of the courtroom understand thinking/decision-making processes, in particular what Kahnemann dubs “thinking fast” and “thinking slow,” they cannot expect to convince decision makers to think their way. Although several years old, this

PRACTICE POINTS: TWO DEMONSTRATIVES TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR NEXT CASE

It is beyond question that jurors expect, and advocates need to offer, some visual information – and, indeed, some electronic visual information – during a trial.  Visuals increase attention and retention when done properly, and they certain reduce boredom. In this succinct two-page reminder of these principles, litigation consultant Josh Dubin summarizes some of the

Certainty and Uncertainty in Reporting Fingerprint Evidence

Words count.  And when forensic discipline experts discuss a ‘match,’ a correspondence between crime scene evidence, words have particular impact.  Words count so much that when experts use scientifically-indefensible terms or descriptions, such as “and no one else in the world has the same print,” the weight given to such proof is high.  It is

One step forward and two steps back? The ′20 Principles′ for questioning vulnerable witnesses and the lack of an evidence-based approach

In England and Wales, particular attention has been devoted to the presentation and questioning of vulnerable witnesses, usually children.  This led to the development of “The 20 Principles of Questioning,” a protocol for preparing and examining such witnesses. This article assesses the 20 principles to show which are supported by science, which have inadequate research