Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Today's Quote: A Paralegal Tells the Truth, and Nothing But the Truth

I thought Practical Paralegalism's readers would enjoy this honest exchange between a prosecutor, Charles Coulson, and his former paralegal student, Cynthia Barth, during voir dire. Barth, a paralegal, was seated as a juror for this Ohio murder trial, which resulted in a conviction and a death sentence:

Coulson: Mrs. Barth, I see you are a paralegal. Did I help you get there?
Barth: Yes.
. . .
Coulson: Do you think your experience as a paralegal would in any way interfere with your ability to listen to the law as the Judge gives it to you and apply it in this case?
Barth: No, I think it would help actually.
Coulson: You think you might be able to understand these instructions even better?
Barth: Hopefully.
Coulson: Well if I did any good, I hope so. I had you for research and writing?
Barth: Yes.
Coulson: I think you mentioned that.
Barth: Actually I think that your paralegal was there more than you were. I didn't mean to embarrass you.

The Court concluded the record did not establish bias due to Barth's student-teacher relationship with Coulson - noting that she said his paralegal was there more than he was. Treesh v. Bagley, 07-3524 (6th Cir. 2010)


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