Conducting Interviews and Investigations

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Question 1

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The types of questions include: Open-ended questions, closed-ended questions, leading questions and hypothetical questions. Open-ended questions usually require broad and exploratory answers, hence give the interviewee an opportunity to use and lengthy responses. They are used on clients and witnesses who are friendly and are also used to determine whether an interviewee's general fluency and conduct make him a good witness during the trial. Closed-ended questions do not need an explanation for an answer, hence, call for a yes or no response. They are best to use on adverse witnesses, for clarification and to re-assure them for forthcoming questions that could be tougher. Leading questions are meant to drive the interviewee towards giving a certain anticipated answer. They are best used on eyewitnesses, especially when reluctant to give information. Attorneys use leading questions during cross-examination. However, one should avoid using them on friendly witnesses, as this may distort the authenticity of their answers. Hypothetical questions obtain information from an interviewee, and not reveal facts of the original case at the same time. They are mainly used on expert witnesses.

Question 2

There are two types of interviews, the clients and witnesses interview. The clients interview is more detailed and is usually in three parts: The initial client interview, subsequent client interview and the informational interview. During the Initial client interview, the attorney must be present and outline to the client the role of each member present. Although the paralegal is present, he is not the attorney. The paralegals roles are to inform the client of the firms fees and other prepared information formally given to new clients and to take notes on the conduct and statements of the client, for later comparison with those taken by the attorney. The subsequent client interview is carried out by the paralegal. He arranges for the interview and informs the client of the necessary documents to bring. Subsequently, the paralegal is supposed to file rightly, these documents. The informational interview is where the paralegal gives the client additional tips on the trial.

Question 3

The various types of witnesses include: Expert witnesses, lay witnesses and eyewitnesses. Expert witnesses are those with professional knowledge about a particular field, for example, medicine. They are hired by the paralegals, so as to testify in court and give an opinion in a matter affecting the clients case. Lay witnesses are those who may have observed or have factual knowledge about the case scenario. They do not necessarily have to be trained on the particular issue. Eyewitnesses are those that experienced the matter firsthand. They may have listened to a conversation implicating the defendant, heard screeching breaks or a crash that denoted an accident. Their responsibility is to relate their side of the story to the court or the paralegal. They are mostly subject to open-ended questions. Also, friendly and hostile witnesses fall under expert, lay and eye witnesses. The former give evidence in favor of the client while the latter testify against the client.

Question 4

Some of the sources I would consult would include services, social media search engines, media reports, registration documents and the post office. The least effective source I would use is the post office. This is because most people have now moved to the electronic conveyance of information. For this reason, therefore, I am likely to find an address that the person used a very long time ago, hence becomes irrelevant as at now. The most effective source would be the social media search engines. I am likely to face the issue of similarity of usernames on some site. However, some applications like peek you are able to find associations between individuals and web addresses, and web addresses being the most commonly used means of communication, my research is likely to be successful. One may also find individual photos on Facebook and Flickr.

Question 5

Direct evidence is the type of evidence, which if believed, out rightly establishes the truth in the fact in question. If a knife were found with the clients fingerprints, it would be believed that they stabbed the defendant. Circumstantial evidence is that which does not out rightly establish the truth of a fact, but would do so if given much weight, as some other circumstantial evidence. Relevant evidence is that aimed at proving or disapproving the fact in question. If it is proven that the client was indeed at a different place at the time of the murder, that gives a question to the previously submitted evidence. The attorney must, therefore, find a person who might be interested in framing the client, so as to validate his defense. Authenticated evidence is that which has been proven relevant and true, hence, can be submitted for use by the court. If it is proven that it is indeed, your fingerprints found on the knife at the crime scene. This needs expert advice, hence need for an expert witness. Hearsay is relying on what another person said and using it as your statement. If I heard someone say they saw you with a knife, then I bring that to court as my statement. This is not acceptable in court since, first the original person was not under oath, secondly because the second person may have misunderstood it and thirdly because, the person is not cross-examined, to validate the statement.

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