Chapter7 - CHAPTER 7 _ Lay and Expert Opinion Evidence B....

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CHAPTER 7 ____________________________ Lay and Expert Opinion Evidence B. LAY OPINION Questions for Classroom Discussion [p. 518] 1. Divorce action. The issue is which parent should have custody of the children, who currently reside with their mother. The father calls a neighbor to testify that, in her opinion, the mother is not fit to retain custody. Is the opinion admissible? Why or why not? 2. Same case. The neighbor offers to testify that, in her opinion, the mother frequently had many male guests stay overnight. The opinion is based on the fact that the neighbor saw cars other than those owned by the mother parked in the mother’s driveway at night when the neighbor went to bed and would see the same cars in the driveway in the morning. Is the opinion admissible? Why or why not? 3. Same case. The neighbor offers to testify that, in her opinion, the mother is an alcoholic because the neighbor once smelled alcohol on the mother’s breath. Is the opinion admissible? Why or why not? 4. Same case. The neighbor offers to testify that, in her opinion, the mother uses drugs because she has a tattoo and a nose ring. Is the opinion admissible? Why or why not? 5. Same case. The father calls a psychologist who offers to testify, based on the testimony of other witnesses, that the mother is not fit to retain custody. Is the opinion admissible under Rule 701? Why or why not? C. EXPERT OPINION 2. Expert Testimony Must “Assist the Trier of Fact” 1
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Questions for Classroom Discussion [p. 520] 1. Murder prosecution. The defense calls an astrologer to testify that, based on Defendant’s birthday and the alignment of the planets on the night of the murder, Defendant could not be the perpetrator. Does the testimony “assist the trier of fact”? 2. Same case. A prosecution witness with a PhD in criminology testifies that, based on the fact that bloody shoeprints led from the murder scene to Defendant’s apartment, defendant must be guilty. Does the testimony “assist the trier of fact”? 3. Same case. A prosecution witness who has extensive experience analyzing shoeprints testifies that the shoeprints leading to Defendant’s apartment were made by a size 12EEE shoe, which other evidence demonstrates to be Defendant’s shoe size. Does the testimony “assist the trier of fact”? 4. Prosecution for sexual assault. The alleged victim testifies that Defendant attacked her. The defense calls a psychiatrist to testify that, based on his observation of the alleged victim, she is suffering from psychosis and is not telling the truth. Does the testimony “assist the trier of fact”? 5. Same case. A psychiatrist testifies that, based on his observation of the alleged victim, she is suffering from psychosis and that people who have this condition often cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality. Does the testimony “assist the trier of fact”?
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2010 for the course LAW 7330 taught by Professor Lushing during the Fall '05 term at Yeshiva.

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Chapter7 - CHAPTER 7 _ Lay and Expert Opinion Evidence B....

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