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Additional Material. EXERCISE 16. Working in small groups, read the following passages and consider these questions:




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EXERCISE 16. Working in small groups, read the following passages and consider these questions:

- What do you think about lawyers defending criminals?

- Is financial reward more important than doing a good job and seeing the justice is done?

 

1. Jerome Clifford has been defending prominent thugs for fifteen years – gangsters, pushers, politicians. He was cunning and corrupt, completely willing to buy people who could be bought. He drank with the judges and slept with their girl friend. He bribed the cops and threatened the jurors. Jerome knew what made the system tick, and when a sleazy defendant with money needed help he found his way to the law office of W. Jerome Clifford, Attorney and Counselor-at- Law.

2. Her mission as a lawyer was to protect abused and neglected children, and she did this with great skill and passion. She was a zealous advocate for small clients who could not say thanks. She had sued fathers for molesting daughters. She had sued mothers for abusing their babies. The money was adequate but not important.

(from Client by John Grisham)

 

EXERCISE 16.Read the story UNREASONABLE DOUBT by K.L Jones. Do the tasks and answer the questions given below.

 

Cindy Adams had never sat on a jury before. She wanted to do a good job, so she paid very close attention. The judge was a grumpy old man who reminded Cindy of her boss. She had the feeling he wasn't really as mean as he seemed to be. On the other hand, she was sure she wouldn't want to be a defendant before him.

'Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,' the judge said. 'Now that you have been sworn to hear the evidence in this case, it is time for the lawyers to present opening statements. The one thing you must remember at all times during this trial is that the State must prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That standard is the foundation on which our system of justice is based. Now with that in mind, I call upon Ms Daniels, the assistant state's attorney to present her opening statement.'

'Thank you, Your Honour,' Daniels said.

As she spoke, the prosecutor moved across the courtroom until she stood just a foot or so from the jury box. To Cindy the young woman on the other side of the rail seemed cold and professional.



'Members of the jury,' the prosecutor said. 'My job is to make you believe that the defendant, Kelvin Stouter, is a murderer; that he in fact killed his wife, Diane. This is not a typical murder case because we cannot tell you where the body is. Our case is built on what we call circumstantial evidence. But once you have heard all the evidence I am sure that you will be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of Kelvin Stouter's guilt. Just listen to the witnesses, and judge what they say. Use your common sense and I am certain you will arrive at the right verdict. Thank you.'

Abruptly the woman turned her back on the jury and stalked back to the table across from the jury. As she did so, one of the two men who sat at another table next to it rose and advanced toward the jury.

'Your turn, Mr Olson,’ the judge said.

Robert Olson introduced himself to the jury as the attorney for the defense. Cindy was a little surprised that he seemed so young. He, too, stood close to the jury and Cindy had the feeling he was looking right at her. He projected a certain warmth as he too urged the jurors to pay close attention to what they would hear.



'And if you do,' he said in conclusion, 'you will not only have a doubt as to my client's guilt, you will have serious doubts as to whether or not Diane Stouter is dead.'

'Now that you've heard from the lawyers,' the judge said, "It is time for the state to present its case. Are you ready, Ms Daniels?'

'Yes, your honour. Our first witness will be Arlene Gates, the deceased's sister.'

'Objection,' Olson said raising angrily from his chair. 'We don't know if Mrs Stouter is dead. That's something the state still has to prove.'

'Your point is very well taken, Mr Olson,' the judge said.

‘I will withdraw the remark,' the prosecutor said, smiling. To Cindy it was obvious that the woman was playing some kind of game, that she knew exactly what she was doing.

Mrs Gates was a well-tailored woman in her early thirties. She began her testimony by stating that she was the sister of Diane Stouter and that she had last seen her sister on September 12th when they had eaten lunch together at the Rockway Inn.

'We had lunch together every Thursday,' Mrs Gates said.

'When was the next time you spoke with your sister?'

'She called me late the next Tuesday night. She'd had an argument with Kelvin, and was very upset. She said she was afraid.'

'Afraid of whom?' Ms Daniels asked.

'Her husband, Kelvin Stouter.'

'Did you have lunch with your sister the following Thursday?'

'No,' Mrs Gates said. She spoke deliberately and to Cindy it seemed the witness were struggling to maintain herself. 'I never saw or heard from my sister again.'



Mrs Gates went on to relate that she had gone to Rockway Inn and waited until 12:30. She then called the Stouter home but there was no answer. She waited for another half hour and then called Kelvin Stouter at work.

'He seemed unconcerned. All he told me was that he didn't know where Diane was.' Again Mrs Gates seemed on the verge of tears.

'That night,' she went on, 'I went over to their house.'

'What happened there?'

'At first Kelvin didn't want to let me in. He said the place was a mess. He said he still didn't know where Diane was. We were standing at the front door. After a few minutes he let me into the hall.'

'Could you see into the kitchen from that hallway?' Ms Daniels asked.

'No,’ Mrs Gates said. 'I couldn't. The kitchen door was closed. I'd never seen that door closed before.'

The rest of Mrs Gates' testimony concerned her calls to the police about her sister. Then it was Mr Olson's turn to question the witness. Cindy was surprised at how few questions he asked. Only one seemed really important.

'Now, Mrs Gates, your sister told you that she and Kelvin had an argument. Isn't it true that she told you the argument was caused by the fact that she was having an affair, and Kelvin had just found out about it?'

'No,' Mrs Gates had said. 'That is not true.'

Cindy thought the answer came too fast.

The rest of the witnesses called by the prosecution were police officers. To Cindy their testimony seemed precise and professional. They told about a series of calls from Mrs Gates and several calls they made to Kelvin Stouter who simply told them he did not know where his wife was. The last witness was Detective Levinson, a homicide investigator.

‘I didn't get involved in the case,’ Levinson said, 'until a car registered to Mrs Stouter was found. The car was in the airport parking lot and had been there for three days. The keys were in the ignition.’

'Was there anything else unusual about the car?'

'There were blood stains on the driver's door. There was also quite a lot of dried blood found in the trunk. The blood was found to be type O-positive. That's the same type as Mrs Stouter.'

Levinson testified that after examining the car, he went to the Stouter home. Kelvin Stouter told him that he didn't know where Diane was, but suggested she might have run off with a man she was having an affair with. Stouter didn't know the man's name and wasn't able to give any details about the affair or the man.

With Stouter's approval, the police searched the home.

'Did you find anything unusual?'

'First of we found a closet full of woman's clothes. No empty hangers. If Mrs Stouter ran off, it looked as if she didn't take anything.'

'What else?'

'Well, the kitchen seemed to have been cleaned pretty thoroughly, but our lab people found a stain in one of the corners. They said it was blood. Type O-positive.'

The courtroom was exceptionally silent after Levinson's statement. Cindy waited, anticipating something but she didn't know what.

Ms Daniels stood and faced the jury.

'The State rests,' she said.

The first two witnesses for the defense were simply character witnesses. They had known Kelvin Stouter for years, and simply could not believe him capable of any act of violence, especially not against his wife.

After this testimony Olson spoke briefly with his client, then stood up to face the jury.

'Our last witness,' he announced, 'will be my client, Kelvin Stouter.'

Cindy watched as Stouter moved across the courtroom.

He did not look at the jury until he was sitting in the witness chair. Stouter's testimony was brief. He made no attempt to explain the blood stains in the car or in the kitchen. He admitted having a fight with Diane before she disappeared. It was over the fact that she was seeing another man.

'Kelvin,' Olson asked, 'did you kill your wife?'

'No,' the defendant said. 'I don't believe she is dead.' His voice broke.

'I love her. And I wish she'd come home.'

'With that,' Olson said, 'the defense rests.'

'Very good,' the judge said. 'It is now time for the lawyers to present closing arguments. After that it will be up to the jury to decide the case. Ms Daniels, whenever you are ready.'

The prosecutor moved across the courtroom and placed her notepad on the rail that separated her from the jurors. She summed up the testimony that the prosecution had presented, and concluded by saying: 'If Diane Stouter isn't dead, why hasn't she been in touch with her sister? Why did she leave her clothes at home? If Kelvin Stouter didn't kill his wife, where is she?'

The prosecutor was replaced by Robert Olson, counsel for the defense. He spoke without notes, pacing back and forth before the jury as he argued his client's case.

'The prosecution asks where is Mrs Stouter,' he said, pausing directly in front of Cindy. Dramatically he looked at his watch. 'Soon we'll have an answer to that question.'

As she looked at Olson, Cindy could also see Stouter sitting at the defense table, nervously toying with a pencil. His eyes were down and Cindy was unable to read the expression on his face.

'That door,' he said gesturing toward the courtroom door, 'will open in the next ten seconds, and Mrs Stouter will walk into this room…'

A buzz started among the spectators.

'What is this nonsense,' Ms Daniels said rising from her chair. Almost involuntarily, she looked over her shoulder to the door.

'Ten seconds, your honour,' Olson said as the judge looked rather startled.

Cindy's eyes moved almost involuntarily from Olson to the courtroom door. Out of the corner of her eye she was aware of Stouter still playing with the pencil, his eyes down.

Cindy waited for something to happen. Nothing did.

Following a moment of silence, Olson began to speak again.

'I have to apologize,' Olson said. 'I've mislead you. Mrs Stouter, so far as I know, will not be in court. But I did notice that all of you on the jury looked to that door. I believe everyone in the courtroom looked toward the door. You wouldn't have done that if you were convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Diane Stouter was dead.'

'Mr Olson, a courtroom is no the place for playing games,’ the judge said.

'With all due respect, your honour,’ Olson said. 'I was just trying to make a point. And I think I did. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I am sure that you will do your duty when you retire to the jury room.'

After the arguments the judge read instructions to the jury telling that they could only consider the evidence they heard testified about and reminding them that if they had a reasonable doubt of the defendant's guilt, they should acquit him. The jury was then led into a small room just off the courtroom.

The first vote in the jury room was eleven to one. Cindy was the only holdout. The foreman asked her to explain her reasoning. She did and the next vote was unanimous.

After being thanked for their service, and discharged by the judge Cindy retrieved her coat and purse from the jury room. She was one of the last jurors to come back into the court room and when she did so, she was surprised to see a group of jurors talking with the defense attorney.

'She's the one turned us around,' one of them said pointing to Cindy.

Olson came toward her. Cindy froze, tense until Olson smiled. She sensed that he, too, was nervous. 'You don't have to talk to me,’ he said, 'but I am curious. I know you looked at the door, just like everybody else.'

'Yes,’ Cindy admitted. 'Even the judge and prosecutor looked at the door. You really were quite persuasive. I really expected to see Diane Stouter come into court.'

'So how could you vote guilty?'

'Well, you weren't quite right when you said everybody looked toward the door. One person didn't.'

Olson waited.

'Kelvin Stouter.' Cindy said. 'He never looked toward the door. He was the one person in the courtroom who was certain his wife would not be coming through those doors.'

 

QUESTIONS and TASKS:

1. What is the standard or foundation of American system of justice?

2. Why is the case described in the story not typical?

3. What is the main job of the prosecutor at the trial described in the story?

4. Why did the prosecutor loose the case?

5. If you were a prosecutor, could you win the case?

6. What is the aim of the attorney for the defense at the trial described in the story?

7. Was Olson “playing games” or effectively “making a point”?

8. Was Olson a zealous advocate for his client?

9. What is the main job of jurors at a trial?

10. What prevented Cindy from being persuaded by Olson?

11. How did the jury come to a unanimous vote?

12. Do you think Kelvin Stouter is guilty or innocent? Give your reasons.

13. Do you think justice has been done? Give your reasons.

14. Do you believe that every crime is soluble?

15. The US poet Robert Frost once said: “A jury is twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.” Do you agree with this saying?

16. Make a list of legal terms you have learned from reading the story.

17. Make a list of steps of courtroom procedure as you understand from the story.

18. Make a list of courtroom actors and say what their duties are.


þ REVIEW AND TEST YOUR LEGAL VOCABULARY

 

The questions given below review selected terms from the material you have studied. Please choose the answer that best reflects the meaning of each word or phrase. You should take no more than 20 minutes to answer these questions.

1. COMMON LAW

a. Legal philosophy or "jurisprudence."

b. Law made by judges in England that does not apply in the United States.

c. Laws developed by judges in cases rather than by legislators in statutes.

 

2. CIVIL LAW

a. The law of a civilized society.

b. In the United States, the body of law concerned with private rights and remedies.

c. The law of "civil rights."

 

3. CASE LAW

a. The only method of legal education.

b. Reported judicial decisions that may be binding or persuasive on other courts.

c. Reported decisions of administrative agencies that interpret federal statutes.

 

4. JURY

a. Commissioners who investigate facts for a judge.

b. Members of the community who decide questions of law, without instruction from the judge.

c. Members of the community who listen to evidence and then decide questions of fact relating to the guilt or innocence of a criminal defendant or liability for a civil claim.

 

5. JURISDICTION

a. A geographic area, used primarily for determining eligibility to vote.

b. The power of the executive branch to enforce the judgments of the courts.

c. The power and authority of a court or other body to render judgment in a case.

 

6. CIVIL ACTION

a. What a judge will say before a witness testifies.

b. Civil defense of a community.

c. A lawsuit brought by a person, corporation, or entity against another person, corporation, or entity.

 

7. VERDICT

a. The indictment filed by a prosecutor.

b. The instructions given to the jury before it begins its deliberations.

c. The decision made by a jury (or a trial court judge, if there is no jury) as to whether a criminal defendant is guilty or not guilty or whether a civil defendant is liable or not liable.

 

 

8. CRIMINAL PROSECUTION

a. A judicial proceeding used to bring an offender to justice and punishment by due process of law.

b. The unauthorized practice of law by "jailhouse lawyers."

c. Strategy used by police detectives to track down those guilty of breaking the law.

 

9. CIVIL PROCEDURE

a. The rules applicable to civil rights claims, such as an alleged denial of due process of law.

b. The rules applicable to civil litigation in federal or state court.

c. Court-enforced rules of civility, especially as they apply to trial lawyers.

 

10. FEDERAL LAW

a. Proposed administrative rules published in the Federal Register.

b. Decisions from U.S. District Courts, reported in West's Federal Supplement.

c. Laws applicable nationally, including the U.S. constitution, federal statutes, federal court decisions, executive orders issued by the President, and the rules and regulations of federal administrative agencies.

11. LLM

a. Law degree that allows persons to take the bar examination in any part of the United States.

b. Abbreviation for an undergraduate law degree.

c. Abbreviation for a graduate law degree known as the "Master of Laws" and often given in a particular subject area, such as tax, international law, or intellectual property.

 

12. BAR EXAMINATION

a. An optional test taken by lawyers to prove themselves as experts in particular areas of the law.

b. A mandatory examination given in each state which law graduates must pass before they may practice law.

c. A voluntary program for lawyers who are recovering from alcohol or drug addiction.

 

13. SOCRATIC METHOD

a. Endless series of questions based on the writings of Socrates.

b. Dramatization used by trial lawyers to convince a jury that their client's position is correct.

c. Method of teaching in U.S. law schools where the professor will ask a series of questions and hopefully guide the student toward the correct response or to additional points of consideration.

 

14. AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION

a. The national bar association that organizes the activities of smaller state and local bar associations.

b. The mandatory bar association that all lawyers must join in order to practice law in the United States.

c. A national voluntary bar association for lawyers in the United States.

 

15. BILL OF RIGHTS

a. Legal protection against interference of rights by private individuals.

b. A popular name given to the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

c. The federal constitutional provision which grants rights to state governments.

 

16. DUE PROCESS

a. Procedures established only under the Administrative Procedure Act.

b. An orderly functioning of the legal system under fair rules and established general principles that limit the power of government over life, liberty, and property.

c. The principle that all persons are equal before the law.

 

17. FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

a. A judicial prohibition that forbids newspapers and broadcast media from televising parts of court trials.

b. The right of a journalist to commit libel.

c. First Amendment right to publish ideas and opinions without governmental restriction.

 

18. FREEDOM OF RELIGION

a. The freedom to not practice any religion.

b. The freedom to practice any faith as guaranteed only in the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man.

c. A First Amendment freedom to practice any faith.

 

19. EXECUTIVE BRANCH

a. On the federal level, the President and Vice-President of the United States.

b. On the federal level, the President and Vice-President and those federal administrative agencies that "execute" the laws enacted by Congress.

c. On the federal level, the administrative agencies that "execute" Congressional laws.

 

20. TORT

a. A breach of contract punishable by imprisonment.

b. A civil wrong or private injury not based in contract law.

c. An involuntary action which amounts to a criminal offense because of an actual or potential injury.

 

21. ASSAULT

a. A military invasion.

b. The civil wrong of inflicting actual bodily injury on another.

c. The act of putting a person in reasonable fear of immediate bodily injury.

 

22. PUNITIVE DAMAGES

a. Damages to compensate for injury.

b. Civil damages meant to punish the wrongdoer for causing injury.

c. "Nominal" or minimal damages.

 

23. LIBEL

a. Responsibility for a legal obligation.

b. A defamatory publication in writing.

c. A defamatory publication that is spoken.

 

24. NEGLIGENCE

a. Forgetfulness.

b. Willful and wanton misconduct.

c. A tort that will impose liability for a breach of a duty that proximately causes an injury.

 

25. INTENT

a. An action required to sustain a tort.

b. Strict liability.

c. The desire to cause a certain result or to act with substantial knowledge that an injury will result.

 

26. LIABILITY

a. A defamatory statement in writing.

b. A defamatory statement that is spoken.

c. Civil responsibility as determined by a judge or jury.

 

27. SPEEDY TRIAL

a. A criminal trial that happens so fast that the defendant does not get an opportunity to testify.

b. Legal principle that allows criminal defendants to avoid prosecution if they move for extensions of their trial dates.

c. Constitutional requirement that a criminal defendant's trial not be unreasonably delayed.

 

28. GRAND JURY

a. A jury which is more intelligent than an average jury.

b. A jury that will decide whether a criminal defendant is guilty.

c. A jury that will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to charge a defendant with a crime.

 

29. PARALEGAL

a. A secondary source of law.

b. A lawyer's assistant.

c. One who holds an advanced law degree?

 

30. LEGALESE

a. A legal matter that is "easy."

b. An acceptable form of communicating with clients.

c. Legal jargon

(Adapted from Introduction to Legal English by M.E.Wojcik)


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