Witness Credibility: Dream or Nightmare David W. Monahan

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Slide 1

Witness Credibility: Dream or Nightmare? David W. Monahan Assistant Attorney General Consumer Protect. & Antitrust Div. Mass. Office of the Attorney General Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri

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Black's Law Dictionary characterizes CREDIBILITY: Worthiness of conviction; that quality in a witness which renders his proof deserving of conviction. American Heritage Dict. characterizes CREDIBLE: Believable, conceivable; Trustworthy, dependable. (Is a reliable individual constantly authentic?) Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri

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Importance of believability in a lawful continuing: Bears upon the amount CREDIT to give the declaration. A lawyer must evaluate validity as it influences: The capacity to figure out what the certainties are. 2) The capacity to influence a trier of truth as to what the realities may be. Displayed at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri

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Don't accept believability in light of judgment of others Though witness was discovered valid by examiners/board individuals, lawyer ought to make an autonomous appraisal. Be that as it may, Foster great associations with those different players simultaneously. Exhibited at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri

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In settling on the validity of a witness A lawyer ought to consider: Is the witness fit for knowing completely about the subject? a) Was the witness present, required in the exchange, and so forth? b) Were conditions to such an extent that the witness could know the genuine actualities, obviously watch the event, witness not mixed up, misled, and so forth.? Introduced at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri

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In choosing the believability of a witness A lawyer ought to consider: 2) Is the witness liable to genuinely relate the matter completely as the witness knows it, with no reason or longing to betray, smother, or add to reality? Displayed at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri

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Trustworthy v. Trustworthy How dependable IS the witness? v. How valid does the witness APPEAR? Components which may upset saw validity include: 1) Poor talking way 2) Poor physical presentation 3) Nervousness or perplexity 4) Not changing OR excessively progressive/smooth 5) Suspect relationship or rationale Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri

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To help you evaluate the believability of a witness: Utilize your examiners to help you get ready and grill. Solicit a great deal from inquiries to test memory, innate consistency. At that point ask once more. Try not to be reluctant to get extreme. Expect what contradicting insight will ask, and pose those questions. Introduced at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri

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To help you survey the believability of a witness: 5) Insist that the witness uncover any intrigue, associations they have. 6) When conceivable, examine the validity of your witness. 7) Convey their commitment to come clean. 8) Observe physical prompts. 9) Engender trust. Exhibited at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri

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If your witness is not believable: Don't offer their declaration, with the exception of restricted reason. To the degree you offer declaration, be set up to address inadequacies. Try not to accept you have no case. Consider different sources. Displayed at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri

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Preparing a sound observer to give their believability a chance to appear: Encourage them to take or audit notes, make a diagram or course of events. Go through declaration, for solace, and to help talking way. Caution against frivolity, makeshift routes. Talk about legitimate clothing. Displayed at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri

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If calamity strikes on cross-exam: Try to fix up on re-coordinate. Demonstrate that your witness is believable regardless of the possibility that they don't have all the earmarks of being. Attempt to limited center, rebate significance of non-dependable declaration. Contend that other confirmation underpins your case, as does equity. On the off chance that you were hoodwinked, you might be obliged to pull back the charges. Introduced at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri

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David W. Monahan Assistant Attorney General Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division Office of the Attorney General One Ashburton Place Boston, MA 02108 617-727-2200, x. 2954 david.monahan@ago.state.ma.us Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri

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