1. Ryan Elder
    Offline

    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,590
    Likes Received:
    78

    Does anyone know how this courtroom procedure goes about?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Ryan Elder, Mar 28, 2016.

    When a witness is going to testify in court, a lot of times in fiction you see the witness waiting, while watching the case. However, can this be legally construed as witness tampering?

    Because if the witness is sitting their waiting for his turn, as in mine, he may get ideas on what to say in his favor, based on what he has heard in the courtroom so far.

    So because of this, does the court make witnesses wait outside, where they cannot hear what is being said about the case, behind his back, so to speak? Do they have a procedure for this?
     
  2. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,051
    Likes Received:
    5,255
    Location:
    California, US
    It is common for a judge to exclude witnesses from a courtroom while others are testifying so that the witness isn't prejudiced.
     
  3. Ryan Elder
    Offline

    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,590
    Likes Received:
    78
    Okay thanks, that's what I thought, but it was just a theory, and wanted to make sure, but couldn't find if that was it for certain. How come like in a movie like The Untouchables for example, Elliot Ness is sitting in the courtroom watching the case unfold, even though he was working on the case himself, and could be called to testify?

    Was this incorrect?
     
  4. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,051
    Likes Received:
    5,255
    Location:
    California, US
    My memory is a bit hazy on this, but didn't they go after Capone on income tax charges, rather than the case Ness was pursuing? I don't think he was called to the stand.
     
  5. Ryan Elder
    Offline

    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,590
    Likes Received:
    78
    Well the one treasure agent suggests to Ness, that they should try him on income tax evasion instead, and Elliot goes along with it. So I thought it was still his idea to go that direction, and therefore still his case.
     
  6. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,051
    Likes Received:
    5,255
    Location:
    California, US
    I could be wrong, but I don't think that's right. I don't even know if Ness was that happy about it, in real life, but I don't think it was his case anymore at that point. But this is my vague recollection. There's probably some one here a lot more familiar with the Capone story.
     
  7. Ryan Elder
    Offline

    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,590
    Likes Received:
    78
    Okay thanks. I will look it up more.

    I am trying to think of more examples where the investigator on the case, sat in. The fourth Dirty Harry movie, Sudden Impact did this, where Harry is sitting in the back and watches the men go free, who he was trying to put away.
     
  8. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,051
    Likes Received:
    5,255
    Location:
    California, US
    Yeah, movies take a lot of liberty. Had Callahan already testified by the time he is watching? Maybe it's up to the discretion of the judge, but it seems crazy to allow the witnesses in during other testimony.
     
  9. Ryan Elder
    Offline

    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,590
    Likes Received:
    78
    I assumed Callahan already had. The scene starts out with the defendants just being discharged, for Callahan tainting the evidence, and the it was at the beginning of the movie, so I assumed he had.

    Well for my story, I actually do not want to the witness to hear what the others have to say about him cause he goes in, not knowing the lawyer is going to ambush him on a cross-examination based on what other witnesses have said. So it works better for mine that the witness does not hear what the others have to say before his turn, if it works that way.

    Do you know what room the witness waits in before he/she is called, especially if it's a high profile media case?

    Also, I am not sure how to write it, for what order the witnesses are called to testify. Do you know if there are rules as to what order they will be called in, depending on the case?
     
  10. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,051
    Likes Received:
    5,255
    Location:
    California, US
    I've only been in trial court a few times. There were little rooms outside the courthouse for attorneys to meet with clients, and apart from that people just waited outside the courtroom to be called.
     

Share This Page