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Chapter 7- Conducting Interviews & Investigations


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Open-Ended Questions

Used mostly with friendly witnesses and clients.
A broad exploratory question. Describe your morning. What did you do that morning?
Closed-Ended Questions

Used to clarify a witnesses statement or keep on track. Used with reluctant or adverse witnesses.
Question which elicits a "yes" or "no" response. Were you late for work that morning.
Leading Questions

Used with adverse witnesses in interviews. Used often with
A question that suggests the desired answer. Isn't it true you always drive that way?
Hypothetical Questions
A question that asks the interviewee to assume a certain set of facts in forming an answer. If a 200 pound man consumed fourteen beers in 6 hours, how long does it take him to become sober?
Passive Listening
The act of listening attentively to the speakers's message and responing to the speaker by providing verbal or nonverbal cues. "I'm listening, please go on."
Active Listening
The act of listening to speaker's message and responding w/feedback and restating speaker's words to confirm what you heard is accurate.
Expert Witness
A witness w/professional experience or training that qualifies him or her to testify on a subject.
Lay Witness
An ordinary witness. Can truthfully testify on a fact w/out specialized training or knowledge on a subject.
A witness who testifies about an event that he or she observed or has expercienced firsthand.
Friendly Witness
A witness who is biased against your client's adversary or sympathetic toward your client in a lawsuit or other legal proceeding.
Hostile Witness
A witness who is biased against your client or friendly toward your client's adversary in a lawsuit or other legal proceeding; an adverse witness.
Witness Statement
The written record of the statements made by a witness during an interview, signed by the witness.
Investigation Plan
A plan that lists each step involved in obtaining and verifying facts and information relevant to the legal problem being investigated.
Anything that can be used to prove the existence or nonexistence of a fact.
Rules of Evidence
Rules that govern the admissibility of evidence in trial courts.
Direct Evidence
Evidence establishing the existence of a fact in question without relying on inferences.
Circumstantial Evidence
Indirect evidence offered to establish, by inference, the likelihood of a fact that is in question.
Relevant Evidence
Evidence tending to prove or disprove the fact in question. Only relevant evidence is admissible in court.
The process of establishing the genuineness of an item that is to be introduced as evidence in a trial.
Testimony that is given in court by witness who relates not what he or she knows personally but what another person said. Hearsay is generally not admissible as evidence.
Name 3 Exceptions to Hearsay
1. Present Sense Impression-A statement made at the time of happening, "I smell smoke."
2. Excited Utterance-Statement caused by startling event or condition "The brakes aren't working!"
3. State of Mind-A statement of the declarer's then existing state, "My leg is bleeding and hurts terribly."

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