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About the Book
What are those "proper bounds" when arguing credibility of witnesses? Specifically, what is "vouching?" Although ethics rules are explicit and firm, commentators are quick to point out that case law is inconsistent, fact-driven, and highly protective of convictions
Most trial lawyers know vouching, like obscenity, when they see it -- even if they have trouble formulating a definition. Understanding the principles that underlie vouching has been confounded by how it is usually defined: not by why it is problematic, but instead by how it most commonly appears. The basic concept of vouching, then, is that it is an improper means of bolstering a witness's credibility. Witnesses' reliability and honesty virtually always arises at trial, so practitioners frequently find that they need to "rehabilitate" or support their witnesses' statements.
This one-of-a-kind book supplies all you need to know about this sometimes misunderstood concept. In fifteen chapters you'll find the topic of vouching covered from every angle, backed up with relevant case citations whenever applicable. You'll discover when it's permissible, and when it's prohibited. You'll get a cleared picture of where the illusive grey areas lie, and learn to recognize when it's been crossed. If you are a trial lawyer, prosecution or defense, you need this book to help establish your expertise in the sometimes confusing area of vouching.
Table of Contents Acknowledgment 1. Overview 2. Ethics Proscriptions 3. Personal Opinions of the Speaker (First Person Opinions) 4. Permissible Personal Opinions 5. Permissible Opinions of Others 6. Placing the Prestige of the Government behind Witnesses: Prosecution 7. Placing the Prestige of the Government behind Witnesses: Police 8. Facts Not in Evidence 9. Negative Vouching 10. Non-Verbal Vouching 11. Vouching by Implication 12. Arguing the Risks of Falsely Testifying 13. Melodramatic implications of acquittal 14. Invited response 15. Remedies