Consider the following hypothetical. The People have charged Alex Thompson with assault. They allege that Thompson punched Charles Hudson in the face and caused serious physical injury to him. The People contend that Thompson was wearing a college ring that severely cut Hudson’s face. Thompson maintains his innocence. Although Thompson acknowledges that he and his neighbor Hudson had an argument over a town softball game, he maintains that he never struck Hudson.
1. Thompson wants to call as a defense witness his Quaker pastor. The pastor will testify that Thompson is a pacifist. He will also testify that Thompson has a reputation for truthfulness in the Quaker community.
A. Is this evidence admissible? Explain.
B. What are the dangers to the defense if they call the pastor as a character witness?
2. Thompson wants to call his wife Brenda as a witness. She would testify that her husband never wore any jewelry, including his wedding ring. She would testify that her husband hates wearing anything on his hands. She maintains that her husband does not even wear gloves during the winter. Is this evidence admissible? Explain.
3. The People want to admit a 911 call to the police about the incident. The anonymous caller stated that there was a fight between two men in front of Hudson’s house. The 911 operator asked the caller if she could identify the participants. She responded that Thompson just punched Hudson in the face. The 911 operator then asked the caller how she knew the two men; she responded that she did not want to get involved but that the police needed to come before someone got hurt. When the 911 operator asked the caller for her name, she refused to give it and then hung up.
A. Is this evidence admissible? Explain.
B. What are the Crawford implications of this issue?
4. Thompson wants to call the doctor who treated Hudson at the ER on the day of the incident. The doctor would testify that Hudson told him, “Look, I know what the cops told you but let me tell you what really happened. Earlier today, my wife found out that I
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was cheating on her. She got angry and punched me in the face. Her ring cut my face pretty bad. I’m concerned that the ring may cause an infection. See, my wife thinks the ring is a diamond ring; it isn’t. I gave her a cheap knockoff. It’s cubic zirconium. After she cut me, I put superglue on the cut to close it. I didn’t want to get my wife in trouble. So, I went outside and saw Thompson. I know that he’s a hothead. I provoked him by yelling at him that he had cheated last night at our softball game. I knew that this would upset him. I kept antagonizing him until I got him to punch me in the face. It worked like a charm. His punch reopened the cut. So, the police think that he was the one who hurt me. Now, I’m scared that the cheap ring and the superglue may cause me to lose the sight in my eye.” All of these statements are contained in the medical records prepared by the emergency room doctor. The medical reports also indicate that Hudson needed 24 stitches to close the cut by his eye and that he received a tetanus shot. Is this evidence admissible? Explain.
5. Hudson also wanted to sue Thompson in civil court. However, the statute of limitations ran out before Hudson attempted to file suit. Hudson is now suing the law firm of Wirenius and Heller for legal malpractice. Hudson claims that the firm never advised him about the time limits on filing a lawsuit. The law firm counters that they wrote Hudson and advised him that they were interested in representing him in this case but never heard back from him. The firm produces a copy of a letter that indicates that they advised Hudson of his rights and asked him to contact them if he was interested in pursuing the case in court. Hudson claims that he never received this letter and that this letter was never sent to him. Explain what the law firm must do to establish that they sent Hudson this letter in light of the fact that no witness has personal knowledge that the letter was actually mailed.
THIS IS DUE THURSDAY OCTOBER 8TH AT 6:00 PM EASTER TIME