8:30 a.m. Registration
8:50 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks
Hon. John C. Few
Chief Judge, S.C. Court of Appeals
Navigating the Pitfalls of Unexpected Events—With an Eye Towards Experts
John Hayes, Hayes Law Firm, LLC, Charleston
We will discuss the effective presentation of expert witness. But what happens when the unexpected happens? Building on the speaker’s experience of losing experts at the last minute in several recent cases, we will delve into the pitfalls of the “unexpected encounter” and explore steps that can make your expert presentation seamless and effective, while also appealing to the jury, even when your expert disappears on you. We will take a look at the proper way to qualify a witness, provide a background for their opinions, authenticate their photographs and reports and balance the presentation of evidence.
Hey Mr. Expert, I’m Huckleberry; When Cross Examination Beats Exclusion Under Daubert
S. Lester Tate, Akin & Tate, P.C., Cartersville, GA
USC Law graduate and former Georgia Bar President Lester Tate, who has cross-examined dozens of experts in over 100 jury trials, will explore the strategy of impeaching an expert witness on cross examination—in front of the jury—instead of attacking the admissibility of the expert’s opinions under the Daubert/Council standard.
11 a.m. Break
You Can’t Handle the Truth!!!: Effective Ways for Dealing with Difficult, Hostile or Adverse Witnesses
Breon C.M. Walker, Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A., Columbia
This program will explore how to effectively manage a difficult, hostile or adverse witness. We will discuss how Rules 103, 403, 611, 614 and others provide the Court with judicial discretion in dealing with difficult witnesses. We will also cover controlling your own witnesses to keep them from saying something you don’t want the jury to hear.
12:15 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
He’s Quite a Character, Have You Heard What He’s Done? The use of character in criminal trials, how a prosecutor plans to use it in her case in chief and what (if anything) can you do about it!
Meghan L. Walker, Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, Columbia
The struggle over the admissibility of evidence of a defendant’s character, particularly prior crimes or acts under Rule 404(b), can become the central struggle in any criminal case. We will discuss the admissibility character evidence under Rules 404(a) and 404(b) and how to admit prior statements of witnesses.
He’s Quite a Character, Have You Heard What He’s Done? A look at the use of character evidence in civil trials and using prior crimes to impeach a witness.
Jamie Hood, Hood Law Firm, Charleston
Is character evidence admissible in civil trials? We’ll see! All parties want to use character for cross examination. Are there circumstances where character evidence is admissible to impeach the opposing party? Are there similar circumstances in which evidence of prior crimes is properly admitted? This program will also take a look on how to limit opposing counsel’s use of character evidence and evidence of prior crimes.
3:30 p.m. Break
It’s Hearsay! But is it Relevant or Unfairly Prejudicial?
Prof. Colin Miller, USC School of Law, Columbia
More than ever before, courts are expanding the admissibility of hearsay statements through exceptions, in many cases beyond the scope the drafters intended. However, the courts almost never apply a Rule 403 analysis on the back end. In this program we will discuss whether the courts should tighten up their analysis of the hearsay exceptions and in doing so cause more hearsay statements to be admitted under the residual exception, ensuring that some form of Rule 403 analysis occurs.
4:45 p.m. Adjourn