Kelly will be unable to attend class today as she has Ebola. Signed Kelly’s cousins friends doctor.-Arizona
Welcome back class to the Really Big Mean Dog School of Law. Todays class is going to focus solely on law terms that end in Y. We call it the Y defenses. Please take out your tablets and take notes because as always this portion may count for all, some, or none of your mark.
For brevities sake, we will use the term defendant from now on. We are going to focus today on some of the more common things that come up in courtrooms. Unfortunately, some of you are going to have defendants that are more Einstein-y than the others. These Defendants will be a major pain in the ass and will cause you an unusual amount of headaches. They don’t understand the term suborning perjury. They don’t understand the term sanctions. They don’t understand the term inadmissible. They just know that they are smarter than everybody else in the history of ever and any “evidence” that they can manufacture should be admissible. They don’t care that you can be disbarred for it.
There are many very good reasons that certain evidence may not be admitted during a proceeding. It can be deemed too inflammatory. The court can find that there is no foundation for the evidence. This means that there is no background story to the evidence and alone it would be very easy to take it out of context. Evidence can be deemed inadmissible because of the way it was collected, or because it was contaminated. Evidence can also be deemed inadmissible because the Einstein-y defendant knew they were about to understand the term truly fucked and they made some shit up and tried to pass it off as evidence.
Defendants, especially the ones that claim an affirmative defense (see, defense of others, self-defense, a ninja made me do it) will very often manufacture evidence if it looks like things are not going their way. This is where forgery, our first Y defense comes into play. Often, proof can be offered by using letters to prove a statement or statements. This professors opinion is that if someone is stupid enough to admit on paper that they have committed some heinous act, then they pretty much deserve for someone to turn them in. Unfortunately, most people that commit crimes are not stupid enough to write it down for us. If a defendant, especially the pain in the ass defendants think they can slip by a couple or ten forged documents that basically prove every aspect of their affirmative defense, they will attempt to do it. This maneuver almost always needs an accomplice and that would be where perjury comes in.
Perjury is the act of knowingly providing false evidence under oath. Perjury is a huge no-no and the perjurer will be charged. If a lawyer knowingly solicits perjured testimony during trial, they are guilty of suborning perjury and in almost all states it is punishable by disbarment. (Except Arizona, you just get sent to bed without supper there.) In order to pull off the forgery part, the client will ask someone to commit perjury in order to lay foundation for the forged evidence. This person might or might not be someone the client had all kinds of anal sex with in order to gain their co-operation. The job of the perjurer is to go to one of the pre-trial hearings and swear that they saw whatever the defendant is claiming happened or saw the aftermath. They are also handy for producing the forged documents if the defendant is already behind bars. Here is where the lawyers conundrum occurs. For those of you that are going to be defense attorneys please pay special attention. It is now very easy to find out if a document is forged. Unless you have a master forger on your hands, which is a lot more rare than you would think, simple handwriting analysis will out your forger. You may also have a defendant that just feels a need to share their brilliance and will flat out tell you that they had the documents forged. Either way, you are now aware that you have a forged document and that the witness has committed perjury. You cannot, unless you don’t want to be a lawyer anymore, call that witness to testify and the documents cannot be entered into evidence. Be prepared because once you tell that to the defendant they will immediately call you a semi literate fat ass and tell the presiding Judge that they want to represent themselves. That will cause you some more annoyance and in the end the documents will not be admitted into evidence anyway. I recommend padding your bill with assorted motions at this time just for the aggravation of it all. File motions to seal, motions to quash, motions to be removed as council. None of them will be granted, but you get extra cash and it will stall the inevitable a little bit more.
When forgery and perjury fail to work, the defendant will usually pull out some incantation of our last Y. Insanity. Now, in many defendants, insanity is a stretch and will be discarded almost immediately. It is only with the Einstein-y defendants that the insanity ploy will be played out. This could manifest in forms including but not limited to: fake suicide attempts, blaming people that weren’t there, claiming that they have absolutely no memory of the incident and claiming temporary insanity due to extenuating circumstances. The very large pain in the ass defendants may try a combination of all of the above. They may even try and get some expert testimony using a combination of depraved sexual acts in exchange for the above. We then again fall into the perjury conundrum. You as attorneys are going to have to wade through all the bullshit that the Einstein-y defendant throws at you to come to some reasonable version of the truth. Unless of course you are defense attorneys in which case you can forget the last statement and just go with the most believable lie of all the bullshit the defendant comes up with.
That concludes todays Class. For next class we will be discussing how to convince witnesses not to testify by threatening to tell the truth about them. Have a good night. Class dismissed.