case study : Solution Essays


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Casey Anthony trial

Case Study LEST 300:

In this Case Study, you will pick testimony to observe, either in person or online. You’ll use that case/testimony to answer questions, applying what you have learned from each chapter. You have to choose the testimony you will observe (Part 1) by Week 4. The Case Study (Part 2) needs to be completed by Week 7. However, since the Case Study follows what we will be learning each week, it may make sense to complete it as we go along. That way, you won’t need be re-reading everything and rushing to complete it!

Part 1:

Choose which trial testimony you would like to observe for your Case Study project. You are required to observe at least one hour of testimony. If you choose to go to a courthouse and watch live testimony, please indicate which court you plan on observing and roughly when you will go. It must be a court proceeding where a witness will be giving testimony, so plan on attending either a hearing or a trial. If you contact your local Court Clerk’s Office (their contact information will be on the court website), they should be able to tell you when hearings or trials are scheduled. Any Federal, State, County, or even Town Court will do. 

In the alternative, if you would like to watch testimony online, please provide me with the name of the trial, the parts of the trial you plan observe, and a link to the video(s). Here are some options for testimony. Note, these are just options. Feel free to search (or to click on other youtube videos) and find a trial/witness that is interesting to you. 

Jodi Arias Trial, opening statement, prosecution –

Jodi Arias Trial, direct examination –

Casey Anthony Trial, direct examination –

OJ Simpson Trial, cross-examination – 

If you are unable to view testimony, please indicate this along with the circumstances as to why, and we will make arrangements for you to read trial testimony in the alternative. 

Part 2: 

You are to use the testimony you observed to answer the following questions. You may either upload a video answering the questions, or a presentation (such as a prezi or power point), or you may provide written answers. Please note, you are to use complete sentences and proper grammar and are to fully answer/explain each question.

The questions follow along with the chapters in the book. You are to apply what you have learned from each week and will need to research the case a little more to answer the questions. If you view a case in person, you can ask the court deputy or the attorney or the court clerk for a little background on the case. If you choose a case online, do some additional research on it. If you use additional sources, please make sure to provide citations. 

Intro: Name your case and give a one to two paragraph description of the parties and the legal issue(s) in this case. 

Chapter 1 questions:  What law is allegedly being violated in this case? What is the source of the law? What type of court is hearing the case? Is it a bench or jury trial? 

Chapter 2 questions:  Which court is hearing the case?  (For example, is it the Wisconsin Municipal Court? Is it the Western District of New York Federal Court?) What do you know about the case that tells you this court has jurisdiction? 

Chapter 3 questions: Is this a Federal or a State case? Is it criminal or civil? How can you tell? What will be the burden of proof? Who has to prove it in this case? What are the possible outcomes and remedies? 

Chapter 4 questions: Use the research tools you learned, and find a case that could be used as precedent. Name the case and give a brief description of why it could be precedent. 

OR, if they’re alleging the defendant or respondent violated a law, look up & provide the text of the law. 

****You are to use one of the research methods discussed in this class, and you are to provide the citation for the source you used. 

Chapter 5 questions: Pay attention the lawyers and the judge. Take note of what is going on in the trial. What procedural laws did you observe? You don’t have to name a specific law, but describe your observations. Note: your answer most likely will not be “none.” Procedure is constantly used in court, whether asking the judge for something, objecting, or directing what is going on at the trial. Procedure is also used in deciding what evidence will be introduced. A review of page 36 in Introduction to the Law for Paralegals may be helpful in addition to Chapter 5.

Chapter 7 or 10 (depending on what type of trial you observe): If it is a criminal trial, what classification of crime is this? Is it a crime against the person? Property? Do you know what defenses may be used in this case? If it’s a civil trial, is it a tort? Which type? Do you know what type of remedy the plaintiff is looking for? Do you know what defenses might be used in this case?   

Conclusion: What are your thoughts on your courtroom observation? Did anything about the observation surprise you? Did anything strike you as unusual or unexpected? Please write one to two paragraphs summarizing what you have learned from the case study. 

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