Note for Judges Willing to Mentor and Educate: As most trial judges know, many attorneys do not know how to properly impeach a witness using a deposition or other prior inconsistent statement. Following jury trial many attorneys ask the presiding judge for constructive criticism on the attorney’s performance during trial. These post-trial judicial critiques are golden opportunities for the judge (if willing) to mentor and educate a young attorney. This training update and sample impeachment scripts are intended to serve as a set of general principles and guidelines for trial attorneys to learn and follow.
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The Minnesota Supreme Court Recently Issued A Decision Of 1st Impression On The Use Of “UNSPECIFIED FELONIES” Which Significantly Impacts The Use Of Prior Convictions For Impeachment Purposes. This Training Update Replaces Update #10-19, Dated October 25, 2010. The Updated Section Is On Page 2, Paragraph #3, Labeled “NEW RULE – UNSPECIFIED FELONIES”. State v. Hill, AO9-1947, August 24, 2011.
QUESTION: Prior To Trial The State Files A Motion-In-Limine Seeking To Impeach Defendant (Should He Decide To Testify) With Several Prior Felony Convictions, All Occurring Within The Past 10 Years And None Constituting A “Crime Of Dishonesty Or False Statement”. What Balancing Test Must The Court Apply And What 5 Specific Findings Must The Court Make (On The Record) To Properly Rule?
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