Friday, July 12, 2013

How not to examine a witness during trial

In this YouTube clip from the George Zimmerman criminal trial, the prosecutor breaks one of the  golden rules of trial practice by asking a witness a question to which he did not know the answer beforehand (much like Chris Darden asking OJ to try on the infamous glove without knowing for sure whether or not it would fit).  The prosecutor in this clip is apparently trying to establish that the witness, Jenna Lauer, is biased in favor of Zimmerman since she allegedly followed his older brother on Twitter.  The pertinent questioning starts about minute 6.40.   Around minute 8.20 it becomes clear that the prosecutor doesn't understand how Twitter works.  Ms. Lauer points out that Zimmerman's older brother was merely one of several recommendations that Twitter made to her as someone she might want to follow.  She goes on to explain that after initially signing up for Twitter, she never used it as anyone with even a passing familiarity with it could tell just by looking at her account.  It's then that the prosecutor concedes he doesn't understand how Twitter works.  Sheesh.

Hat tip to The Lawyerist.

(jbl).

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_skills/2013/07/how-not-to-exam-a-witness-during-trial.html

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