A Theory of the Trial. by Robert P. Burns

By Robert P. Burns

Anyone who has sat on a jury or a high-profile trial on tv frequently involves the belief trial, fairly a legal trial, can be a functionality. Verdicts appear decided as a lot in which attorney can most sensible hook up with the hearts and minds of the jurors as by way of what the facts could recommend. during this get together of the yankee trial as a superb cultural fulfillment, Robert Burns, a tribulation attorney and a proficient thinker, explores how those criminal complaints result in justice. The trial, he reminds us, isn't really restrained to the neutral program of felony principles to real findings. Burns depicts the trial as an establishment applying its personal language and sorts of functionality that raise the knowledge of decision-makers, bringing them involved with ethical resources past the boundaries of law.

Burns explores the wealthy narrative constitution of the trial, starting with the legal professionals' commencing statements, which determine opposing ethical frameworks within which to interpret the proof. within the succession of witnesses, tales compete and are held in rigidity. at some point soon through the functionality, a feeling of the proper factor to do arises one of the jurors. How this occurs is on the center of Burns's research, which pulls on cautious descriptions of what trial legal professionals do, the foundations governing their activities, interpretations of exact trial fabric, social technological know-how findings, and a wide philosophical and political appreciation of the trial as a different motor vehicle of yankee self-government.

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Increasingly, appellate courts have adopted the principle that evidentiary determinations are not questions of law to be freshly redetermined (“de novo review”). 65 This is significant for my purposes because, within the Received View, evidentiary doctrines are designed largely to keep the 61 See chapter 2, below. Martin Louis, “Allocating Adjudicative Decision Making Authority between the Trial and Appellate Levels: A Unified View of the Scope of Review, the Judge/Jury Question, and Procedural Discretion,” North Carolina Law Review 64 (1986): 993, 1005–6.

Other Crimes Evidence at Trial: Of Balancing and Other Matters,” Yale Law Journal 70 (1961): 763, 777; Hoffman and Brodley, “Jurors on Trial,” Missouri Law Review 17 (1952): 235, 243–45. 77 Paul Ricoeur, The Rule of Metaphor: Multidisciplinary Studies of the Creation of Meaning in Language, trans. Robert Czerny (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1975), 10. : R. D. , 1965), 140– 42 (uncertainty about probabilities and grave risks to important interests suggest a conservative strategy). 79 Plato, Republic 592b.

See chapter 3, below. 20 One story but not another might allow for recovery against a certain defendant more able than another to compensate the plaintiff for his injury. One story but not another might pass muster under a statute of limitations. ” and also tell a persuasive story to the jury while not violating prohibitions on suborning or assisting perjury or presenting false evidence? What must be recognized are the practical considerations that dictate the factual statements made, often in the language of past occurrence.

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