Does the Prosecution Have to Disclose Its Case Theory?What exactly is a case theory and how is it typically developed? What questions can you answer about the case regarding the what’s? The why’s? The who’s? If you appear in court, the only reason behind it is because there was some dispute over something. The actual plaintiff may not understand the entirety of the case; however, that is why they have an attorney there as an advocate. The “advocate” may be able to portray the rest of the story from a certain point of view. This is how compensation is determined and how other factors come into play: With evidence.

Once it is established exactly what occurred, there may be a question of why is took place as well. Defendants should be held liable for the accountable pay they deserve to victims. The next thing factored in is a matter of why the defendant should have to legally pay for it. If you have established negligence, then you should be able to establish that they will be held responsible to pay for your injury. However, a defendant may also be able to establish that the plaintiff was acting in a negligent way themselves, and contributed to the accident.

Once these issues have been addressed, this is when you are able to drill down on the main points. From this, the case theory evolves. A case theory is used as a guide in the courtroom to get you what you rightfully deserve.

Can Prosecutors “Spring Evidence” Onto Defendants?
In the past, prosecutors were able to guard evidence from defendants. However, this is not the case anymore. Defendants aren’t able to force prosecutors to hand over witness statements or even so much as reveal names of witnesses. It is a fact that, in many cases, advanced disclosure will promote a more “fair” trial. Surprise evidence only leads to poor justice. Every jurisdiction, whether state or federal government, has different discovery rules that require prosecutors to disclose evidence to the defendants prior to the actual trial.

Do Discovery Rules Help Defendants at Trial?
They aren’t necessarily intended to. Advance disclosure can help promote a more fair trial outcome, but it can also promote case settlement. Case settlement works to save judicial time and resources used. A guilty defendant may see things this way: The prosecution has a very strong case against me, which means I should plead guilty and throw in the towel right here and now. It saves the government the hassle of trying the case. Discovery helps approximately 90% of criminal cases settle before trial.

Does Discovery Mean That the Prosecution Has to Reveal Its Case Strategy?
No. Discovery depends on information like names of witnesses, police reports, alcohol test results, and attorney theories. Prosecutors are not legally required to turn over their work product to defendants because this wouldn’t be fair.

Case Example
Consider a federal appeals case where the defendant was on trial for the murder of his wife. The defense, during trial, offered that somebody else was responsible for the murder; however, the prosecution stayed firm on the fact that the defendant committed the crime. However, after evidence is presented, the prosecution arrived at the theory that the defendant may have not killed the victim, but he could have prompted somebody else to do it. The judge then gave the jury an instruction on aiding and abetting, which could find the defendant guilty on the theory. The defendant was then convicted. This could be seen as an improper conviction because Sixth Amendment rights were violated. Defendants are entitled to know and understand what they are facing. This was the case of Smith v. Lopez, 12-55860. (9th Cir. 2013).

If you have a case against somebody, you may need to speak with an attorney about your options. Some cases can become much more complex than you could have ever bargained for. Call The Blair Law Firm today to find out more and get the consultation you deserve.