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AttyDort
AttyDort, Litigation Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 96
Experience:  Criminal and Civil jury trial expeirence; 17 yrs exp in state and federal courts.
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Attorney Dort of Just Answer Could you please comment on

Customer Question

Attorney Dort of Just Answer Could you please comment on these 6 leading questions that i am preparing to direct to the lead investigator at trial. Can these questions be asked? I am trying to establish facts favorable to the defense by asking around 200
leading questions? for example: 1. Did the Defendants breech the "Settlement "Agreement" by working part-time as a bookkeeper at the Real Estate Company? 2. (Hand a "Trustees Deed Upon Sale" to witness) How much in excess funds were left over after this Trustee
Sale? 3. Here's a list of 48 properties - what is the total of all the excess funds? ($1.6 million) 4. Did these Robin Hood tactics of stalling the Trustee Sales of the rich banks result in the homeowner being eligible to receive $1.6 million? 5. Should a
76 year old part time bookkeeper be put in jail for the rest of his life for doing errands for a Real Estate Company? Thanks for any suggestions on the rules of leading questions. Terry XXXXXX
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  AttyDort replied 1 year ago.

It sounds like you are handling your own criminal case that may result in prison time.

If that is true, here is what I would say: STOP!!!!!! Holly Crap!!!!! STOP, STOP!!!

Do Not Continue without a licensed attorney to assist you. Ask the court to appoint an attorney to help you IMMEDIATELY. Tell the court you are in over your head, the stakes way too high, and you do not have a law degree. If you do that, the court will have to stop and make sure you have an attorney to help - even at no cost to you if there is no way you can pay.

"A person who represents themselves in a criminal case has a fool for a client."

I can tell by your questions that you have no legal training, and certainly have not handled a major jury trial before.

Under these circumstances, I'd say you are in big trouble, and you need to IMMEDIATELY get an attorney's help. The court must appoint an attorney for you if you ask for it.

I am really hesitant to answer your question because I do not want to be involved in what I see here as a giant mistake and potential disaster.

If I help you ask questions, and give you the belief that it can be done, I would be doing something I consider to be wrong and harmful.

However, I will give you my thoughts on your questions, because they are not good questions and I want to tell you why.

Here is what I would say if I were the prosecutor opposing you:

1) Objection! Your honor, this is a prohibited compound question. It asks a question about several people collectively described as "defendants". This question must be asked of each individual separately. Secondly, this is a prohibited question to the witness (you did not tell me who the witness was) because it asks for an expert legal conclusion, and an expert opinion regarding the law related to a document, and the parties' performance of an agreement. This expert has not been qualified or accepted by the court as a legal expert and he/she cannot offer an opinion on the legality of actions of a group of people. The law is for the court to decide, not for a witness. I ask that the court strike the question on those grounds, and I wish to make the record here, and point out it would be reversible error for the court to allow that compound question, which calls for an expert opinion.

2) Objection! This question is vague and ambiguous and should not be allowed because there is no foundational evidence to define the term "excess funds".

3) Objection! There is no legal foundation for use of the term "excess funds" and therefore this question is too vague and ambiguous to be allowed. I ask the court to strike it on that ground. Secondly, I object on the grounds the question asks for an expert opinion that only a licensed accountant can provide. This witness has not been qualified nor accept by the court as a expert in the accounting field, and therefore cannot offer an expert opinion on the accounting aspects of 48 real estate transactions.

4) Objection! This question lacks foundation, is argumentative, lacks a definition of "Robin Hood Tactics", and assumes facts not in evidence.

( a more realistic question here would be a) "Isn't it true the home owner received 1.6 million?" b) "what is your understanding of why the home owner received that money?"

5) Objection! This question is grounds for a mistrial because it asks the jury to consider the consequences of their decision on this case, which is prohibited. I ask the court to immediately declare a mistrial, and give us a new trial date because this question has poisoned the jury's ability to make a decision in accordance with the judge's instructions. I also ask that the court sanction the questioner in an appropriate way that takes into account the waste of time and resources that happens when a mistrial occurs. It also calls for an inadmissible opinion regarding the consequences of this case form a lay witness. This question is absolutely prohibited, your honor, and and a mistrial must be granted and/or a corrective instruction given to the jury.

OK - that is all I can say.

Actually I can say leading questions are allowed in most cross examinations during trial. But your questions are not real leading questions.

A real leading question assumes the answer, and is short, direct, and to a point that is admissible. They must be designed to establish facts, not opinions.

Your questions all ask for opinions. Opinions are not evidence (unless from an expert who is qualified by the court).

Having said all of that, I also have to tell you that it is clear you have zero understanding of the Evidence Code.

You should not be handling your own criminal case.

But it is your life. And you do have that right.

With that, I must say "The End", wish you the best of luck, and then I will opt out of this question, and others you send me because I do not want to participate in this disaster.

My final thought: Tell the court immediately that you need an attorney to represent you. You are in over your head.