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Assignment: My Cousin Vinny: Trial Techniques and Procedures
1) Bill slips a can of tuna in his pocket and forgets to pay. Is this shoplifting? Please
explain how mens rea, actus reus, and corpus delecti are involved in this
2) Stanley and Bill were interrogated at the police station. Both conceded they were
advised of their rights. Name one possible 5th amendment issue with the
3) Lisa tells Vinny she doesnt think he is cut out for this lawyering stuff. Do defense
attorneys have to meet a certain level of competence?
4) Explain the following legal principles:
b. Due diligence
5) Pretrial Steps
a. What crime are Bill and Stanley accused of?
b. Explain what happen in their preliminary hearing and how probable cause
was found in the case
c. Explain what happened in the initial appearance
6) What happened during the Arraignment of Bill and Stanley? What does Vinny plead
for his clients?
7) Describe the part of the movie when Vinny claims he wants discovery (disclosure),
but doesnt know the process for it. How does he find about the discovery process?
8) The Prosecution askes the jury members Can you participate in an endeavor in
which the ultimate disposition might be execution? What is this process called?
9) What are the key points offered in the prosecutions opening statement?
10)What are the key points offered in Vinnys opening statement?
11)The Prosecution presents its case first and gets to present its witnesses first. When
the Prosecution calls its witnesses they call them for Direct Examination.
a. What are the characteristics of Direct Examination?
12)Once the Prosecution calls a witness and goes through Direct Examination then
Vinny, the Defense, gets to Cross-Examine the witness
a. What are the characteristics of Cross-Examination?
13)Summarize the following testimonies. What happened on the stand?
Direct Examination Testimony
14)How does Lisa get introduced as an expert witness?
15)What are Lisas qualifications for testifying?
16)Why did Lisa have to testify when she did not want to ?
17)What are the key points offered during Vinnys last witness exchange.
18)What was the ultimate outcome of the criminal trial? Explain how this came about.
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