1. SilentDreamer
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    SilentDreamer Member

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    Court Scenes

    Discussion in 'Research' started by SilentDreamer, Nov 26, 2015.

    So, I finally reached a part of my WIP where the court scenes need to come in.
    Except, I'm not sure I know enough to write them accurately. My own personal experience was only a "Drunk and Disorderly" charge that a friend had charged against her - so it's not the most useful for my WIP. And, I'm not entirely sure that TV shows like SVU etc are as accurate as I'd like to be.

    It is a sexual assault/torture/kidnapping case - so I really don't want to balls it up completely.

    Anyone have any suggestions around how I could research the most accurate way these cases would play out? (Or if SVU is reasonably accurate for the USA, let me know..! hahaha)

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've been in court a few times. Unfortunately it is as an expert witness on building issues (usually breach of contract). I am forced to give my evidence impartially (it is a strange conflict where you are paid for by one party, but you do not act for them... you act for the court... in the US I believe experts are actually partisan, which is a mockery... but US). These are very dry situations, you give the evidence, but if you put a foot out of place, if you step outside of your sphere of expertise, you get torn apart. Many solicitors are very adept at this and will make you look like a moron. You have to be very careful, very factual, very evidence based.

    I have been in court twice to watch criminal prosecutions. They were dull as ditch water. A whole day was spent saying nothing. One was a robbery, it was spent hearing about past misdemeanors only to have the judge strike all the evidence from the record. The other was a similar case, similar waste of time.

    The point is that cinematic scenes- the likes of TKAMB- do not exist, or make up an insignificant part of a court case in reality. I think it is necessary for the purposes of fiction to make them entertaining, because in reality court cases are anything but.
     
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  3. Tom13
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    Tom13 Member

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    Do US courts have public galleries?
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    With a few exceptions, yes, they certainly do. But don't expect the high stakes drama usually shown on TV and in film. It's a rather choreographed and controlled affair, typically.
     

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