(Or how I flumoxxed my clinical evidence professor with my kindle)
Two of the classes I’m taking this semester are Criminal Advocacy and Clinical Evidence. Both of them involve practical, hand on stuff- directs and crosses and arguments and the like. Criminal Advocacy is awesome, but it’s first thing Monday mornings, which is awful, and involves somewhat complicated things- dealing with directs and crosses for motions to suppress. I’m not horrible at cross-examinations in trial testimony, but working out what needs to be done on crosses for motions to suppress is something I’m weak on (but getting better- the case we’re working on has 4 suppression motions so there’s a lot of practice involved).
Now, after the semester started, and I knew I’d need to have prepared questions for each class, I really REALLY wanted an Ipad. I can’t even tell you how much. Because I hate paper, and I hate paying for printing, and constantly changing things and editing and jsut having shit on a hand held device would make me happy. But ipads are $500. I am poor.
Instead, I got a Kindle, because you can put PDFs on them, and its only $139. I was resisted the ebook revolution for a while- I got the kindle app on my ipod, but that wouldn’t do for having my notes, questions and outlines. (I’m totally sold on the kindle, now. It’s paid for itself a couple times over at this point.)
Anyway, yesterday, I did my first direct examination in Clinical Evidence. I was tweaking my questions up until I got up to go, so I uploaded to the kindle, and off we went.
Now, sometimes we got notified in advance who will be your witness, and sometimes it’s catch-all, whoever volunteers. In this case, it was not pre-assigned. I had practiced with someone (of coruse I practiced- sometimes things written sound stupid when you say them out loud. And going through the examination with Tony meant that I could see how the whole thing shaped up), and Tony did try to volunteer to be my witness, but the prof chose someone else.
(Theoretically, she should have known the entire testimony backwards and forwards- she was also prepared to direct the same witness, but life doesn’t work like that.)
Anyway, things were going well, except for two things- first, since I hate paper and don’t print shit out unless I have to, and Tony left his printouts at the Law Review office, I didn’t have the 3 exhibits I wanted in to hand. So I introduced one, and laid the foundation for the other two (to prove that I could, and didn’t actually put in the other two. Second, she kept getting important details wrong. At one point I stopped and asked if I could impeach my own witness, and the professor was like “…what is that thing in your hand?”
I said it was my Kindle- it had my outline on it.
He said, “…but what is it?”
I said it was an ereader.
He asked, “what brand?”
I said Amazon.
He wanted to see it and I said I would show it to him at break. He was suitably impressed. He aslo said he would be leery of putting all his trial documents on one thing- your opposing counsel might dump water on it or something.
There was also a bit of a discussion on judges allowing people to use something like a Kindle or an ipad in trial because of the ability to communicate wirelessly, which… maybe? I don’t know. maybe someone will have an idea.
(oh and I finished my examination, and someone else did the cross. The comments I got was that I was calm, relatively unflustered by my witness not saying what I wanted her to, laid the foundations for the exhibits really well and handled the hearsay objections well, so YAY GO ME.)