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Full-Text Articles in Law

Lawyers Judging Experts: Oversimplifying Science And Undervaluing Advocacy To Construct An Ethical Duty?, David S. Caudill Aug 2011

Lawyers Judging Experts: Oversimplifying Science And Undervaluing Advocacy To Construct An Ethical Duty?, David S. Caudill

Working Paper Series

My focus is on an apparent trend at the intersection of the fields of evidentiary standards for expert admissibility and professional responsibility, namely the eagerness to place more ethical responsibilities on lawyers to vet their proffered expertise to ensure its reliability. My reservations about this trend are not only based on its troubling implications for the lawyer’s duty as a zealous advocate, which already has obvious limitations (because of lawyers’ conflicting duties to the court), but are also based on the problematic aspects of many reliability determinations. To expect attorneys—and this is what the proponents of a duty ...


Conflicts Of Interest In Criminal Cases: Should The Prosecution Have A Duty To Disclose?, Anne Poulin Feb 2010

Conflicts Of Interest In Criminal Cases: Should The Prosecution Have A Duty To Disclose?, Anne Poulin

Working Paper Series

This article addresses two types of conflicts of interests that arise in criminal cases: 1) when defense counsel has an employment relation to the prosecutor’s office, and 2) when defense counsel faces criminal investigation or charges. Both these situations threaten both the defendant’s representation and the actual as well as apparent fairness of the proceeding. Yet, only in extreme cases are these conflicts likely to result in a reversal of the defendant’s conviction. As a result, protection of the defendant and the fairness of the process often depends on early intervention, which allows the court to advise ...


Pursuing Justice For The Mentally Disabled, Grant H. Morris Jun 2005

Pursuing Justice For The Mentally Disabled, Grant H. Morris

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

This article considers whether lawyers act as zealous advocates when they represent mentally disordered, involuntarily committed patients who wish to assert their right to refuse treatment with psychotropic medication. After discussing a study that clearly demonstrates that lawyers do not do so, the article explores the reasons for this inappropriate behavior. Michael Perlin characterizes the problem as “sanism,” which he describes as an irrational prejudice against mentally disabled persons of the same quality and character as other irrational prejudices that cause and are reflected in prevailing social attitudes of racism, sexism, homophobia, and ethnic bigotry. The article critiques Perlin’s ...


Mental Disorder And The Civil/Criminal Distinction, Grant H. Morris Sep 2004

Mental Disorder And The Civil/Criminal Distinction, Grant H. Morris

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

This essay, written as part of a symposium issue to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the University of San Diego Law School, discusses the evaporating distinction between sentence-serving convicts and mentally disordered nonconvicts who are involved in, or who were involved in, the criminal process–people we label as both bad and mad. By examining one Supreme Court case from each of the decades that follow the opening of the University of San Diego School of Law, the essay demonstrates how the promise that nonconvict mentally disordered persons would be treated equally with other civilly committed mental patients was made ...


The Prosecutor's Duty To Truth, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2001

The Prosecutor's Duty To Truth, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Part I of this Article discusses the prosecutor's duty to refrain from conduct that impedes the search for truth. A prosecutor may impede the truth-finding process in several ways: (1) distorting the truth by attacking the defendant's character, misleading and misrepresenting facts, and engaging in inflammatory conduct; (2) subverting the truth by making false statements and presenting false evidence; (3) suppressing the truth by failing to disclose potentially truth-enhancing evidence or obstructing defense access to potentially truth-enhancing evidence; and (4) other truth-disserving conduct that exploits defense counsel's misconduct and mistakes and prevents introduction of potentially truth-serving defenses ...


Mental Culpability And Prosecutorial Misconduct, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 1998

Mental Culpability And Prosecutorial Misconduct, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This Article argues that a prosecutor's intent is always relevant to the courts' analysis of misconduct, and that the courts should always consider a prosecutor's intent in determining whether a rule was violated and whether the verdict was prejudiced. Part II of this Article examines the use of the objective test to analyze a prosecutor's trial conduct. Part II offers several reasons courts give for avoiding inquiry into a prosecutor's mental culpability, analyzes those reasons, and concludes that although the application of an objective test is sufficient to correct misconduct in some instances, it does not ...


The Adversarial System At Risk, Bennett L. Gershman Apr 1990

The Adversarial System At Risk, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The most ominous recent development affecting the balance of forces in the adversary system is the unprecedented attack by prosecutors on criminal defense lawyers themselves. Grand jury subpoenas to attorneys, law office searches, disqualification motions, fee forfeiture proceedings, and, most recently, IRS attempts to enforce currency-reporting regulations do not seem to be isolated occurrences or mere happenstance. Rather, perhaps inspired by Shakespeare's injunction in Henry VI to "kill all the lawyers," some prosecutors appear to have concluded that the most effective way to prevail in the battle against crime is to cripple the defense lawyers, particularly those who represent ...


Attorney Loyalty And Client Perjury - A Postscript To Nix V. Whiteside, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 1986

Attorney Loyalty And Client Perjury - A Postscript To Nix V. Whiteside, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

How much, if at all, can a criminal defense lawyer cooperate in his or her client's decision to commit perjury? Courts, commentators, and bar committees have grappled with this question for years without offering clear or consistent guidelines. Any principled response must take into account some very hard questions. Under what circumstances, for instance, does the lawyer ever really "know" that his client's proposed testimony is false? Is it sufficient if the lawyer simply disbelieves his client's story, or that of his client's witnesses? Does it make any difference if the attorney learns of a plan ...