Main Artistic License Law Discussion

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01:44:34 AM Apr 28th 2017
I'm sorry, but I seriously think that we should repost the stuff that was there before. Many of those things were pretty good explanations of why the in the hell those Tropes are fictional and there were various items there that had not been made Tropes yet (and probably wouldn't become—at least not with the smaller amount of examples that are around vs. how big the Tropes we currently have are. What IS the minimum number of examples needed for Trope launching, anycase? Five? Yeah, guess there would be coming up short).

at the very least, the stuff that was deleted could be on a folder.
05:54:59 AM Dec 18th 2013
"Additionally, you will probably be told you are disinherited for "reasons you are aware of." Putting in their actual reasons would give you an angle to contest it: you could claim that the reason given was false, and they aren't around to defend it."

In case of speculative fiction settings, what happens when the dead people are sent to hell and can be called to the courts whenever they are needed? Would inheritance laws changed to reflect that?
08:15:02 PM Sep 29th 2013
I'm a little unclear on how this differs from Hollywood Law.
06:36:31 PM Jun 28th 2013

is alleged to be racist because in the Police line up, "All the Suspects are Black."

The whole point of an Identity Parade is ONE Suspect amidst Innocent Citizens who vaguely LOOK like the Suspect,
08:34:01 PM Dec 6th 2012
An interesting case of how 'Not Proven' works in practice is the old case of Madeleine Smith. All the circumstantial evidence pointing to her being the likely one to have murdered her love, but no one could prove absolutely that it was her hand that dosed him. The series Crimes and Punishments interpreted 'Not Proven' as (paraphrased): "We're pretty sure she did it, but no one can absolutely prove she did it, so in the interest of benefit of the doubt, we'll say she probably didn't do it." A little like how 'reasonable doubt' will result in a 'Not Guilty' verdict; they just have a different way of handling it.
01:03:43 PM Sep 22nd 2011
I think we need to clean up the Eagleland Osmosis section of this article. The reason is that there are people who point out imaginary differences. One common reason for this is that for an American fictional work will portray the law in a certain way that does not accurately reflect the law in any country, but an editor will assume that the way the law is portrayed matches the U.S. In order to point out how the law in a fictional work compares to U.S. law and law in other countries, it is necessary to properly understand:
  • 1. The way the law works in the U.S.
  • 2. The way the law works in the country being compared to, and
  • 3. The way the law works in the fiction being described.
05:19:40 PM Mar 15th 2011
can we get a Laconic for all of the examples, this troper thinks that this is one trope that could really use it
04:17:43 AM Nov 4th 2010
Something for the American tropers - I've noticed in a lot of law procedurals, where there is a medical expert giving evidence, the other side when cross-examining will always end their questions with something along the lines of "Who is paying for your appearance today?" or "Have you been paid for today?" etc etc, which is seen as completely scuttling their evidence. Is this actually done, because it seems a bit stupid if so...
10:09:04 AM Dec 2nd 2010
Yes, (in general. Different courts have different rules, but you can in Federal court, the rules of which tend to set the tone). Don't necessarily believe in it's effectiveness in real life vs. drama.
08:28:03 PM Dec 6th 2012
Experts initially can either getting paid (by whichever side) or swap favors with colleagues in various forensic fields, to do or review the tests required to provide evidence. This can range from someone asking for a review of their work, to calling on an specialist in another field.

Part of the way United States law works is that the expert is likely to be called on to explain the evidence on the stand. The test results and reviews can be produced and entered into evidence, but they need to be explained to the judge and jury. The forensic specialists can do that best. In some jurisdictions, only an expert is permitted to explain the evidence on the stand. Educated, knowledgeable 'amateurs', like Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny, generally won't be allowed on the stand in that capacity.

There's also the fun of both sides dragging in experts to back up their side of the story or demolish the other side's evidence. In that case, that particular person's reliability regarding professionalism vs money vs reputation can and should be called on. It's one of those cases of a few bad apples in a big old barrel, making the rest look bad. :(
11:16:23 PM Mar 20th 2013
I believe I read somewhere that lawyer Clarence Darrow invented or popularized that line of questioning. It's a bit of a Morton's Fork , because someone testifying for nothing could be seen as having an agenda.
08:10:44 PM Sep 29th 2013
In the United States in general, it is illegal to pay a witness for testifying unless the witness is an expert. The court will pay a witness a small stipend ($40 in federal court) plus travel expenses, but a party cannot hire a non-expert to testify.

The reason for this is that non-expert witnesses ("fact witnesses") are only permitted to testify according to their own personal knowledge. Experts, on the other hand, are people who have no personal connection to the case whatsoever, and who are hired by the parties to analyze information and give an expert opinion. This is a professional service, for which they are entitled to payment.

Of course, since the party is paying the expert, the appearance of bias is unavoidable. I doubt that the jury is really surprised to hear the expert is being paid, and certainly this alone is unlikely to scuttle anyone's testimony.
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