1. SilentDreamer

    SilentDreamer Member

    Nov 23, 2015
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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

    Chinspinner Contributor Contributor

    Oct 15, 2011
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    London, now Auckland
    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.
    SilentDreamer likes this.
  3. Tom13

    Tom13 Member

    Nov 24, 2015
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    Do US courts have public galleries?
  4. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 1, 2008
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    El Tembloroso Caribe
    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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