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Casey Anthony trial starts today...*Found not guilty*

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Doomsday101, May 24, 2011.

  1. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    There is not enough face or palm in the world to satisfy this statement.
  2. Stautner

    Stautner New Member

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    No you don't get it - and apparently your law school didn't take.


    Consider the following hypotheticals:

    During opening arguments the defense walked over to a person sitting in the gallery, pointed to her, and said she was the person who carried Caylee's body to the field where it was eventually found, and then at no point in the trial offered any evidence or testimony to support that claim.

    OR

    During opening arguments the defense claimed that intruders broke into the Anthoney house, killed Caylee, repeatedly raped Casey, and threatened to kill her too if she ever told anyone the truth, and then at no point during the trial offered any evidence or testimony to support that claim.

    OR

    During opening arguments the defense claimed that Casey's mother was keeping Caylee and got frustrated at Caylee's crying and killed her, and that Casey was only trying to protect her mother by not telling the truth, but again, at no point during the trial offered any evidence or testimony to support that claim.

    OR

    During opening arguments the defense claimed that Casey's dad put the body in the field and covered it up, and also that he sexually molested Casey throughout her childhood, but again, at no point during the trial offered any evidence or testimony to support that claim.


    You think this is all proper within the framework of our legal system?

    For you to claim to know the law and at the same time claim that the defense can claim anything they want as fact or directly accuse anyone of anything without ever having to present evidence or testimony is nothing short of laughable.
  3. Stautner

    Stautner New Member

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    You are correct.

    Hell, if Baez had presented evidence ... a video tape of Mr. Anthony molesting Casey - something - anything reasonalbe - then Casey's testimony wouldn't be needed to support the claim that Mr. Anthony molested her throughout her childhood, and there would have been nothing improper about Mr. Baez making that claim in his opening statement. But he made no effort to support it at all.

    As it is, Baez made the statement or declaration you mentioned that should have properly been followed during the trial by the testimony of someone who actually had direct knowledge of what was claimed to have happened, however the proper follow up never occurred, and the jury was left with Mr. Baez stating as fact something that he could have no direct knowledge of.

    Again, suppositions are one thing, but direct claims of fact have to be supported. Mr. Baez presented as fact something that he had no ability to claim on his own, and that is improper, and if intentional, unethical.
  4. peplaw06

    peplaw06 That Guy

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    :laugh2:

    vta asked a question, to which I provided the answer. Apparently my answer was good enough for vta. Yet here you are "siding with him," that testimony isn't evidence even though he no longer maintains that position.

    Can't make this stuff up.
  5. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Maybe it's an argument that's kind of missing each others marks; moral questions versus technical realities.

    What seems to be the argument, (as someone just kind of casually watching this argument between you 3 and not having read everything) is that the lawyer is held to no account for outright lying and muddying the waters with his outlandish claims, because he is protected by that letter of the law. Going by the book, he's within the framework; judging from the standpoint of right and wrong, if he did lie, he's an atrocious sort of person and it's unfortunate that such practices are allowed.

    It does seem to be a 'letter of the law' kind of thing and in that context, no one is really in position to argue against it to any effect. But if he did lie, how well is the letter of the law really serving the public? Can we be satisfied with people in the profession of winning at all costs? I think the end product is pretty much a big negative to that end.
  6. Stautner

    Stautner New Member

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    The thing is, not only is it outside the boundary of right and wrong, it is also outside the boundary of the rules of the judicial system to claim as fact anything that it does not intend to try and prove during the course of the trial.


    Opening Statement – Law Definition

    Posted on October 23, 2006 by Lawyers Attorneys
    A statement made by an attorney or self-represented party at the beginning of a trial before evidence is introduced. The opening statement outlines the party’s legal position and previews the evidence that will be introduced later. The purpose of an opening statement is to familiarize the jury with what it will hear–and why it will hear it–not to present an argument as to why the speaker’s side should win; that comes after all evidence is presented as part of the closing argument


    Opening Statements

    This is my opportunity to state to the jury what I believe the evidence will show. The opening statement is not supposed to an argument, but rather an uninterrupted story of what the trial will show, through the evidence and testimony. Since the State has the burden of proving the charges, they address the jury first, and the defense follows. An opening statement can be anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour.
  7. Stautner

    Stautner New Member

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    opening statement

    Also found in: Wikipedia0.01 sec.DIV.Ov { WIDTH: 550px}OvResults=0;ad_channel="6223334685";google_feedback = "on";AdsNum=5;OriginalURL="http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/opening+statement";google_page_url=OriginalURL;google_language = "en"; google_max_num_ads = '20';window.onerror=myerror; kw2="opening statement";google_kw =kw2afs_pageOptions = {'pubId' : google_afs_client, 'query' : google_kw, 'channel' : '1506981298', 'hl' : google_language, 'oe' : 'UTF-8', 'ie' : 'UTF-8'};kw = google_kw;g_kw=1;google_ad_channel='8786624679';google_protectAndRun("render_ads.js::google_render_ad", google_handleError, google_render_ad);write_ads(AdsNum, 0, 1)
    wld_ask()An introductory statement made by the attorneys for each side at the start of a trial. The opening statement, although not mandatory, is seldom waived because it offers a valuable opportunity to provide an overview of the case to the jury and to explain the anticipated proof that will be presented during the course of the trial.

    The primary purpose of an opening statement is to apprise the trier of fact, whether jury or court, of the issues in question and to summarize the evidence that the party intends to offer during the trial. T

    The Supreme Court has characterized an opening statement as "ordinarily intended to do no more than to inform the jury in a general way of the nature of the action and defense so that they may better be prepared to understand the evidence" (Best v. District of Columbia, 291 U.S. 411, 54 S. Ct. 487, 78 L. Ed. 882 [1934]).

    Most practitioners and legal scholars agree that an effective opening statement is vital to the trial process. The importance of an opening statement has been established by studies that showed that 80 percent of jurors' ultimate conclusions with respect to the verdict corresponded with their tentative opinion after opening statements. This is because an effective opening statement establishes the facts of the case and sets forth a legal theory and explanation for why the attorney's client should prevail.

    An opening statement may be either a matter of right or a privilege depending on applicable state and local laws. A party may waive its option of presenting an opening statement because opening statements are not mandatory.

    If a party chooses to give an opening statement, the party with the Burden of Proof will usually present its opening statement first. In a civil case, this means that the plaintiff's attorney presents an opening statement first. In a criminal case, the burden of proof rests on the prosecution. Therefore, the prosecution will be first to present an opening statement.

    The defense may present its opening statement after the plaintiff or prosecution has given its opening statement. The defense also has the option of reserving the opening statement until after the plaintiff has presented its case. Courts have discretion to direct a different order of presentation of opening statements if it finds good reasons for such change in order.

    Opening statements allow attorneys for each side to introduce themselves and to introduce the parties involved in the lawsuit. Additionally, attorneys will usually outline the important facts of the case during the opening statement to assist the jury in understanding the evidence that will be presented during the trial. An opening statement generally contains a brief explanation of the applicable law and a request for verdict. In a request for verdict, the attorney explains the verdict sought and explains the facts that will support the verdict. A well-planned opening statement serves as a road map of the trial.

    Opening statements are often informal and narrative in form. The attorney tells the client's story and explains to the jury what the evidence will show. An opening statement, however, does not constitute evidence, and the jury cannot rely on it in reaching a verdict. The opening statement should be brief and general rather than long and detailed.

    An attorney is limited in what he or she can say during an opening statement. An attorney may not discuss inadmissible evidence. This is especially true where the evidence was ruled inadmissible in a pretrial motion hearing. The attorney must reasonably believe that the matters stated will be supported by the evidence. In addition, statements that are purely argumentative are not proper during opening statements. An attorney may not assert personal opinions, comment about the evidence, or comment about the credibility of a witness during an opening statement.

    Objections by opposing counsel during an opening statement are appropriate where the attorney presenting the opening statement engages in improper conduct. If the attorney fails to object to the inappropriate conduct, the objection is deemed waived, and the attorney cannot complain of such misconduct later in the trial.

    A court usually has the discretion to employ one of several remedies for misconduct during an opening statement. The most common remedy for misconduct during an opening statement is jury admonition, where the judge simply instructs the jury to disregard the improper statement. Where misconduct is more serious, however, the following remedies may be available: (1) counsel may be cited for misconduct or Contempt; (2) a mistrial may be declared; (3) a new trial may be ordered; (4) an appeal may be taken based on the misconduct.
    An attorney can make damaging statements during the opening statement that legally bind the client. Such statements, known as "admissions", are not limited to the opening statement but can occur throughout the litigation process. Attorneys must use caution during the opening statement to avoid making damaging admissions.

    The court may decide the case after the opening statement and before the jury ever has the opportunity to hear the evidence. A court can properly take the case from the jury where it is clear from the opening statement that the plaintiff cannot succeed on the merits or that the defendant has no valid defense. This is usually accomplished by an attorney bringing a motion for a directed verdict. Taking the case from the jury is an extreme measure and exercised with great caution. Courts favor allowing a case to be tried on its merits and rarely grant a directed verdict after the opening statement.

    A strong opening statement will have a lasting impact on the trier of fact. It is often the jury's first introduction to the parties, the issues, and the trial procedure. The opening statement begins the process of persuasion, the ultimate goal of which is a favorable verdict.
  8. Stautner

    Stautner New Member

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    opening statement n. the explanation by the attorneys for both sides at the beginning of the trial of what will be proved during the trial. The defendant's attorney may delay the opening statement for the defense until the plaintiff's evidence has been introduced. Unlike a "closing argument", the opening statement is supposed to be a factual presentation and not an argument. (See: closing argument)
    law()Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
  9. Stautner

    Stautner New Member

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    Duhaime.org Learn LawCurrent Section: Duhaime.org » Legal Dictionary
    Opening Statement Definition:





    A lawyer or litigant's initial remarks at trial, to the finder of fact, either a judge or jury, setting out their road-map or case theory. Also called an 'opening'.

    At the beginning of every trial, before any evidence is entered, each litigant, or their lawyer, is entitled to set out the roadmap of the evidence they intend to introduce; a narrative of the facts that the party will be relying on and the issues involved.

    At this time, their remarks, what they say, is not evidence at all and ought to be completely discounted as such, rather, serves as a courtesy to the court because it tells the court what the particular party intends to prove or on what evidence it intends to rely.

    It is very improper for an opening statement to allege facts that the party cannot thereafter prove. Judges remember what is said in an opening statement and it does not help a litigant's case if it was grossly overstated in an opening statement.
  10. Stautner

    Stautner New Member

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    Wikipedia Dictionaries
    [IMG]Wikipedia English - The Free Encyclopedia

    An opening statement is generally the first occasion that the trier of fact (jury or judge) has to hear from a lawyer in a trial, aside possibly from questioning during voir dire. The opening statement is generally constructed to serve as a "road map" for the fact-finder. This is especially essential in jury trials, since jurors (at least theoretically) know nothing at all about the case before the trial, (or if they do, they are strictly instructed by the judge to put preconceived notions aside). Though such statements may be dramatic and vivid, they must be limited to the evidence reasonably expected to be presented during the trial. Attorneys generally conclude opening statements with a reminder that at the conclusion of evidence, the attorney will return to ask the fact-finder to find in his or her client's favor.
  11. Stautner

    Stautner New Member

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    opening statement Law Definition
    n
    Introductory remarks made by an attorney at the commencement of a trial, in which he outlines the evidence that is expected to be proven. Although sometimes referred to as an “opening argument,” this term is a misnomer, as the lawyers are not permitted to argue any points that have not yet been introduced into evidence.


    write('Webster\'s New World Law Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.
    Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.');Webster's New World Law Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.
    Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  12. locked&loaded

    locked&loaded its redskin season

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  13. Stautner

    Stautner New Member

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    Copyright (c) 1995 North Dakota Law Review
    North Dakota Law Review


    VIEWPOINT: OPENING STATEMENTS IN JURY TRIALS: WHAT ARE THE LEGAL LIMITS?

    1995

    71 N. Dak. L. Rev. 701

    Author

    Michael J. Ahlen *
    Judges seek to insure that juries reach verdicts based on the evidence, not on the basis of nonevidentiary prejudicial information. 11
  14. peplaw06

    peplaw06 That Guy

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    Good lord... Wiki formatting fail and Wiki law education fail.

    What don't you understand about the fact that Baez CLEARLY INTENDED to introduce evidence that backed up his opening statement? A jury trial is a constantly evolving animal. Plans that are made early on, don't always occur how they are laid out.

    When he did not put that evidence on, he effectively abandoned that theory.

    This ain't rocket science people.
  15. BraveHeartFan

    BraveHeartFan We got a hat. I want a ring.

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    Thats true too. They were that bad. I just felt that the defense attorney seemed to do his job well in taking advantage of the fact that the prosecution was just that terrible.
  16. Stautner

    Stautner New Member

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    There is a lot more than just Wiki - attorneys, legal dictionaries, legal publications - and in general Wiki is quoting other sources, not creating its own definitions. The fact remains that presenting an argument during opening statements is not allowed, and that's what Baez did, and presenting as fact things that you do not reasonably expect to prove in the trial is not allowed, and that's what Baez did.

    Now, as for your argument that Baez "CLEARLY INTENDED" to introduce evidence to back up his claim, I have 2 comments:

    1. That has not been your argument all this time. All this time you have simply been saying that Baez could say what he wanted in his opening statement without restriction. Now, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, you are cutting your losses and hanging your hat on him intending to live up to his responsiblity to try and prove what he claimed.

    2. How is it that he "CLEARLY INTENDED" to introduce this evidence? What is it that makes it so clear? Is it that he had a reasonable expectation that Casey would be a great witness to put on the stand despite the infinite amount of evidence of her habitual lying that would shatter her credibility? Is it that there were other sources, yet without any reason at all he chose not to present them? Tell me, what make is so CLEAR?


    ALL THAT SAID - I can accept that there is a difference of opinion about Mr. Baez "intent". Neither of us can prove his intent, so it's merely up to our own perception based on what we saw and believe about the trial. Reasonable people can disagree on that part.

    I have absolutely no problem with that. I just had a problem with the claim that Baez was completely unrestricted in what he could say or do or claim as fact in his opening statement. That simply is not the case, and not a point that can be disagreed on based on opinion. There are rules that go with making opening statements, even for the defense.
  17. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    It sure isn't. I'd probably stand a better chance at that than with law. :laugh2:
  18. casmith07

    casmith07 I'm the best poster in the game!

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    Absolutely. That's the last time that you hope that a coached witness can get up there and raise that little bit of doubt.

    Pep - what's your specialty?
  19. casmith07

    casmith07 I'm the best poster in the game!

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    Still waiting on hearing where you got your JD, or what state bar you're a member of.
  20. casmith07

    casmith07 I'm the best poster in the game!

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    lol @ the sentence in red (emphasis added by Stautner, I might add), which proves exactly what Pep and I have been saying for 13 pages.

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