Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Veitch

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  • Steve Parks,

    The other issue, though, is to what extent barristers use the challenge system to massage the makeup of juries.

    My understanding is that both sides have the same number of challenges, so I don't see why it would necessarily affect the make up in favour of one side or the other.

    My perhaps overly cynical impression is that prosecutors in particular don't want independent thinkers with trained minds assessing their arguments, and will try to weed these people out if they get beyond the ballotting phase. The ideal is a jury of, ahem, 'average Kiwis' who will be oblivious to the extent to which they're being intellectually bullied.

    I don't see why the prosecution in particular would be inclined to "intellectually bully" the jury. As to who wants independent thinkers, that may depend on the nature of the case, and on which side is more confident about the evidence.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    My understanding is that both sides have the same number of challenges, so I don't see why it would necessarily affect the make up in favour of one side or the other.

    Well it could do if you wanted to exclude a minority.

    If there's a pool of 40 jurors, 5 might be Asian. If you were prosecuting an Asian person you might challenge all Asian jurors.

    It wouldn't be very easy to go the other way and exclude all Pakeha jurors, as there would probably be 20 of them.

    In a date rape trial you couldn't exclude all females, but you might be able to exclude all females under 40 or something.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    The maximum an ordinary teacher can earn is around 70,000 at the moment

    Most earn considerably less than that, and strike a salary ceiling pretty quickly--then the only way up is the admin route. I am married to a senior teacher (Head of Social Sciences at a girls' school), and I am daily reminded how much harder she works than I, as an academic earning around $30,000 more. People always cite teacher 'holidays' but most teachers I know spend much of their non-contact time preparing, marking, running extra-curricular activities (debating, sports, drama, balls etc etc). I work to the so-called 'academic year' which is A and B semester, which is essentially 23 to 24 weeks of teaching (not every day) of any given year.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    they're unlikely to be taking home much more than $100k themselves

    I suppose I'm the only person 'round these parts who thinks that's quite a lot of money?

    Righto then. As you were. :)

    Oh, you're welcome to join us Danielle (joiiiin usssssss).

    There's just that small matter of:

    four years of tertiary study, and requisite experience

    Or, in my case, completely requalifying in a totally different profession after my three years of tertiary study while working a full-time job, and starting again on the bottom rung of the ladder (rewind five years of experience).

    And still not earning 100K (I plead poverty, m'lud).

    Paid the cost to be the boss
    I paid the cost to be the boss

    Look at me
    you know what you see,
    you see a bad mutha

    heh!told you so!

    Havin fun, fooling around
    Havin fun, got money to boot

    (youtube embed may not work due to firewall)

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    There's just that small matter of:
    four years of tertiary study

    Pffft. Four years is nuttin'. I've been in tertiary study for... lessee... 12 and a half years of my life. (OMG, that's one third of it. I feel ill.) I have squillions of letters after my name. I just keep getting degrees or diplomas in stupid shit that no one cares about/wants to pay me for using. :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Hmm, I suppose. Gets tricky, though. Is it six challenges each? If so, would the prosecution lawyer, in your Asia defendant example, want to use up 5 out of their six just to get rid of the 5 Asians?

    Would the prosecution be that simplistic: 'we have an Asian on trial, get rid of the Asian's in the jury'? (That's not a rhetorical question; it really might be that crude.)

    In the date rape case, a defense lawyer might want to exclude all or most women under 40, for example, but isn't that fair enough? If the barrister is representing the interests of the defendant, and the defendant thinks (or the lawyer believes on his behalf) that using all his challenges on young women will help his chances, then so be it. After all, the defense could counter the "thinking" implicit in that approach by challenging all the older men (on the basis they're likely more conservative).

    Still, the more I think about it, the more I think that it's quite likely little is really gained by the' process. It seems like an aspect of the legal system we've held on to by tradition, which could do with an overhaul.

    Graeme Edgeler may along soon and shoot down everything I just said. But I ask you: Can we trust a 'Graeme' who doesn't spell his name with an 'H'?

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    ...my last post was in response to Kyle's, by the way, and "After all, the defense could counter..." should read "...prosecution could counter..."

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    The discussion shouldn't be "lawyers are paid too much" - it should be "teachers, nurses and [insert worthy profession] are not paid what they're worth".

    Lawyers are paid what they're paid because that's the value the market puts on their work. All praise the market.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen,

    In the date rape case, a defense lawyer might want to exclude all or most women under 40..

    I believe studies indicate that it's the other way round - female jurors tend to have less sympathy toward the female victim, so it's the prosecution who want to challenge them.

    The only time I got onto a jury, the lawyers used up their 12 challenges within the first 14 people, and were then stuck with the rest of us. Maybe that's why the deadbeat ratio was so high (although it would've taken a pretty switched-on lawyer to notice that one of us was convinced he could determine guilt through the reading of auras).
    (Q for the lawyers out there - are jurors supposed to dob in fellow jurors who are clearly not up to the task? Or is it just a given that the "peers" potentially sitting in judgement on you will have "life experiences" that cover the full spectrum from fact to fantasy?)

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Q for the lawyers out there - are jurors supposed to dob in fellow jurors who are clearly not up to the task? Or is it just a given that the "peers" potentially sitting in judgement on you will have "life experiences" that cover the full spectrum from fact to fantasy?

    No. Not for simple routine incompetence. You're stuck with the nutters.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Lawyers are paid what they're paid because that's the value the market puts on their work. All praise the market.

    Really? I thought it was because like all rent-seeking "professionals" they have formed a cartel to create legislative barriers to entry and hence artifically limit the supply of services.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    (Q for the lawyers out there - are jurors supposed to dob in fellow jurors who are clearly not up to the task? Or is it just a given that the "peers" potentially sitting in judgement on you will have "life experiences" that cover the full spectrum from fact to fantasy?)

    I was once told about some research where prosecutors, following a guilty verdict, got jurors to write down a basic sequence of events relating to the crime - what happened, when, in what order, with what etc.

    As often as not the prosecutors found that not only did the members of the jury not get things 'right' as either side had presented it, often in significant ways, but often presented a story which was internally inconsistent/impossible in terms of times, objects, actions etc.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Really? I thought it was because like all rent-seeking "professionals" they have formed a cartel to create legislative barriers to entry and hence artifically limit the supply of services.

    Ah, that old myth. Most of the legislative barriers you refer to either restrict what lawyers can do, or hold lawyers to higher standards of care than other professions. These regulations increase the costs of doing business (e.g. practising fees, insurance obligations etc).

    As one of my colleagues posted earlier, we're one of the most regulated professions in the country.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    I forgot to add that the regulation I refer to is not self-imposed. It is imposed by legislation.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    my colleague

    m'learned colleague, surely....?

    And wrt jury trials, I'm reminded of the old quote about democracy being the worst system of government ever, except for all those other ways which have been tred from time to time.

    What do you mean, "I don't support your system"?
    I go to court when I have to.

    If there's a new way, I'll be the first in line.
    But it better work this time.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    ScottY: just teasing. But you must admit that the market that lawyers operate in is hardly a very free one. I have as much scope to cause serious financial (and other) loss as the average lawyer through incompetence or malfeasance, and yet the market for programmers is practically Hobbesian by comparison.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    ScottY: just teasing.

    So does that mean I should call off my team of colleagues who are at the High Court at the moment with an application for an injuction gagging further criticism?

    I have as much scope to cause serious financial (and other) loss as the average lawyer through incompetence or malfeasance, and yet the market for programmers is practically Hobbesian by comparison.

    Except that in extreme cases a dodgy or incompetent lawyer might leave you in prison when a competent one would have got you off.

    And the other thing to consider is that people often need lawyers when they're in trouble - whether the trouble is financial or personal. One of the rationales for regulating the legal profession is protecting the vulnerable.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    So does that mean I should call off my team of colleagues who are at the High Court at the moment with an application for an injuction gagging further criticism?

    Bring it on! I shall represent myself!

    (Yes I know what they say about people who represent themselves).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Except that in extreme cases a dodgy or incompetent lawyer might leave you in prison when a competent one would have got you off.

    Just as, perhaps, in equally extreme cases, a dodgy and competent lawyer could save you from a prison sentence when you should have done time?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    Can anyone recommend a good lawyer to do conveyance and to help me set up an owner operator business project, in Levin?

    Me too! Me too! In Welly please.

    I need a cunning yet empathetic lawyer to help my lovely extricate herself from her leech of an ex.

    Or is that possibly asking too much?

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Can anyone recommend a good lawyer to do conveyance and to help me set up an owner operator business project, in Levin?

    Setting up Miss Universe New Zealand pageants?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Newsprint,

    Best comment on Susan Boyle 'phenomena'

    Boylin' hot by dan and dan

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Can anyone recommend a good lawyer to do conveyance and to help me set up an owner operator business project, in Levin?

    You want a live-in lawyer?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Can anyone recommend a good lawyer to do conveyance

    This one looks keen Or maybe This one.
    The Herald, your one stop shop for all that is wrong.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Wishing you success with that venture, Steven. I guess you'll be competing slightly with Weta Workshops, then?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

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