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Witnesses

Civil Procedure

Duke Law

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Narrative, Truth, And Trial, Lisa Kern Griffin Jan 2013

Narrative, Truth, And Trial, Lisa Kern Griffin

Faculty Scholarship

This Article critically evaluates the relationship between constructing narratives and achieving factual accuracy at trials. The story model of adjudication— according to which jurors process testimony by organizing it into competing narratives—has gained wide acceptance in the descriptive work of social scientists and currency in the courtroom, but it has received little close attention from legal theorists. The Article begins with a discussion of the meaning of narrative and its function at trial. It argues that the story model is incomplete, and that “legal truth” emerges from a hybrid of narrative and other means of inquiry. As a result ...