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DUI Defendant Doesn't Want Expert Testimony Recorded on iPhone

Iphone Here's an interesting plot line out of Arizona, and it's got nothing to do with immigration or ... immigration (funny, I can't remember anything else for which that state is known anymore).

Courthouse News Service posted a copy of an "Emergency Petition for Special Action" filed by a defendant in a driving under the influence prosecution in Pima County Superior Court. The defendant, Angela Koperski, wants to appeal the trial judge's ruling that prosecutors will be permitted to videotape the testimony of her expert witness using an iPhone. Koperski doesn't like the idea, and neither does her expert, Charles Laroue, who would be "threatened and intimidated" by such a recording.

Koperski asserts that the iPhone recording would create a "circus-like atmosphere," and would lead the jury to believe that "something is unusual or strange about this witness as opposed to all others."

As for why the prosecutors wanted to videotape the testimony, the judge had an idea:

"Judge Lex inquired as to the purpose, as the proceedings are already recorded," the complaint states. "Prior to the state's answering the question, Judge Lex provided the answer to them 'is it for training or something?' The state responded 'ya' and the motion was granted.

Wait, the judge's name is "Judge Lex"? How can you possibly appeal one of his orders?

The players in this saga all seem to suffer from pretty serious cases of "I do not think that word means what you think it means." The defendant is worried that the iPhone recording will "imbue" the credibility of her witness. Counsel, at the judge's instruction "avowed as to" the facts stated in the petition (not technically an improper use of the word, I guess, but odd).

This petition reeks of desperation; if the video really is for training purposes, it would seem Judge Lex would be able to sufficiently explain this to the jury, and instruct them that it has no bearing on the credibility of the expert. Here's a tip, though: if you're threatened and intimidated by being recorded, perhaps "expert witness" is not the job for you.

Posted by Eric Lipman on August 23, 2010 at 01:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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