My Cousin Vinny: Trial Techniques and Procedures

1) Bill slips a can of tuna in his pocket and forgets to pay. Is this shoplifting? Please explain how mens rea, actus reus, and corpus delecti are involved in this assessment.

2) Stanley and Bill were interrogated at the police station. Both conceded they were advised of their rights. Name one possible 5th amendment issue with the interrogations.

3) Lisa tells Vinny she doesn’t think he is cut out for this lawyering stuff. Do defense attorneys have to meet a certain level of competence?

4) Explain the following legal principles:
a. Competence
b. Due diligence
c. Communication
d. Confidentiality
5) Pretrial Steps
a. What crime are Bill and Stanley accused of?
b. Explain what happen in their preliminary hearing and how probable cause was found in the case
c. Explain what happened in the initial appearance
6) What happened during the Arraignment of Bill and Stanley? What does Vinny plead for his clients?

7) Describe the part of the movie when Vinny claims he wants discovery (disclosure), but doesn’t know the process for it. How does he find about the discovery process?

8) The Prosecution askes the jury members “Can you participate in an endeavor in which the ultimate disposition might be execution?” What is this process called?
.
9) What are the key points offered in the prosecution’s opening statement?

10) What are the key points offered in Vinny’s opening statement?

11) The Prosecution presents its case first and gets to present its witnesses first. When the Prosecution calls its witnesses they call them for Direct Examination.
a. What are the characteristics of Direct Examination?

12) Once the Prosecution calls a witness and goes through Direct Examination then Vinny, the Defense, gets to Cross-Examine the witness
a. What are the characteristics of Cross-Examination?

13) Summarize the following testimonies. What happened on the stand?
Direct Examination Testimony Cross-Examination Testimony
Old Lady
Fat Man
“Redneck” Dude
Deputy Sheriff
14) How does Lisa get introduced as an expert witness?

15) What are Lisa’s qualifications for testifying?

16) Why did Lisa have to testify when she did not want to ?

17) What are the key points offered during Vinny’s last witness exchange.

18) What was the ultimate outcome of the criminal trial? Explain how this came about.

 

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