Is The Opinion “Lay” or “Expert?” — The Superior Court Has An Opinion (Maybe A Wrong One)

Lay opinion testimony is tolerated because, frankly, it is hard to find the line between fact and opinion (“she is tall,” “they appeared drunk,” “the car was way over the speed limit”) and because lay witnesses should be comfortable speaking in normal, conversational, easily-understood terms.  To ensure there is a foundation for the opinion rather

Justice Alito, Religion and Juries

When a prospective juror says “I believe homosexuality is a sin” just like stealing, may that person be the “fair and impartial” juror?  In a case brought by a lesbian prison guard whose claim is harassment on the job?  The default answer should be “no.” Yet according to Justice Samuel Alito the answer is presumptively

Slow Motion Video: New Jersey Speaks

Slow the video down It moves too fast But watch out it makes intent really last Feelin’ groovy (with apologies to Simon and Garfunkle) The proliferation of video evidence- body cameras, store security footage, ring cameras, and the ubiquitous hand-held cellphone – can’t be questioned.  The use of video ranges from the high-profile cases, all


“Vision science” is an amalgam of information from multiple disciplines with multiple points of focus.  From the world of eyewitness identification we know two fundamental principles.  The first is that the mind is not a video camera: it captures only portions of the incoming data and what it does capture does not remain intact as


  Pennsylvania law, as does federal, permits a person accused of a crime to ‘defend’ in part by proving their ‘good’ character, limited to the pertinent trait.  If the crime is robbery or assault, the defense is that the accused is non-violent; and if the crime charged is forgery or theft, that the person is


We’ve heard it at lectures, and perhaps echoed the claim ourselves – the attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds, and that of humans is less.  As detailed in TIME Magazine, [r]esearchers in Canada surveyed 2,000 participants and studied the brain activity of 112 others using electroencephalograms (EEGs). Microsoft found that since the year


In one iteration of his “Ten Commandments” lecture on cross-examination, the famed advocacy teacher Irving Younger posited that ‘less is more.’  When showing a witness’ bias, you need not call them out as a liar; instead, simply argue in closing “and the witness, who testified for the defendant – it’s their mother.”  According to Younger,