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How to recite case law in court?


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Hi everyone,

 

I couldn't seem to find a thread about this, so I wanted to see if we could get a discussion going about this.

 

I have recently been gathering as much case law as I can for relevant topics I anticipate I'll have to argue against the JDB attorney / in front of the judge. I have been practicing out loud just to try and get the words out, and to try to have muscle memory if you will about my various arguments.

 

I had a few questions if maybe someone could provide some guidance.

 

1st. Let's say for example I wanted to cite something from the following case:

[Cite as Unifund CCR Partners Assignee of Palisades Collection, L.L.C. v. Childs, 2010-Ohio-746.]

 

How would I say the line above? Do I omit everything verbally after Childs? If not, How do I recite the remainder of the information.

 

2nd. Is it okay for me to read from note cards, or am I expected to be able to recite specific contents of case law from memory?

 

3rd. This is just an example, but let's say I wanted to bring up the following information in court regarding Ohio SOL, how do I go about doing so? Do I have to recite the whole thing verbatim? Can I just pick a few important sentences? Or can I just reference the case as above, and then note the paragraph?

 

{¶ 16}

 

In light of the foregoing, we find that Ohio law governs in deciding the

correct statute of limitations to apply in the instant case. Unifund argues that the

fifteen-year statute of limitations contained in R.C. § 2305.06 should control. We note,

however, that R.C. § 2305.06 is limited to contracts or agreements in writing. Although

Unifund attached the Citibank credit card account agreement to its complaint, Unifund failed

to submit evidence of Childs’ signature on an application for the credit card. Thus, as we

recently found in

Unifund CCR Partners v. Hemm, Miami App. No. 08-CA-36,

2009-Ohio-3522, an issue of fact exists “whether the contract was reduced to writing, so that

it is not clear, as a matter of law, that the fifteen-year statute of limitations applies.”

 

Any information or advice that could be shared would be great! I'm really trying to study hard for this stuff, and want to make sure I have somewhat of a clue as to what I am doing. Thanks!

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2nd. Is it okay for me to read from note cards, or am I expected to be able to recite specific contents of case law from memory?

 

You can have any reference material you need with you. I had one three ring binder with the rules of civil procedure and a second binder with all my case law, all my filings, the motion I was presenting along with a set of notes for my presentation.

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You can have any reference material you need with you. I had one three ring binder with the rules of civil procedure and a second binder with all my case law, all my filings, the motion I was presenting along with a set of notes for my presentation.

 

Nice! So in your instance, did you get opportunities to recite any of the case law you had in the binder? If so, how did that process go? Was the court pretty lenient in allowing you to take the time you needed to find your proper documents to present certain arguments?

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Nice! So in your instance, did you get opportunities to recite any of the case law you had in the binder? If so, how did that process go? Was the court pretty lenient in allowing you to take the time you needed to find your proper documents to present certain arguments?

 

I did not have an opportunity to cite anything as the Plaintiff failed to show for my summary judgement motion. The judge had his clerk call the Plaintiff to see why they didn't show. They claimed they sent me a letter about dismissal. I had to cite a section from the rules of civil procedure to make sure the judge heard my motion but that was about it.

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I did not have an opportunity to cite anything as the Plaintiff failed to show for my summary judgement motion. The judge had his clerk call the Plaintiff to see why they didn't show. They claimed they sent me a letter about dismissal. I had to cite a section from the rules of civil procedure to make sure the judge heard my motion but that was about it.

 

It's crazy. I am sure how there are plenty of examples of Pro Se defendants that prepare hardcore to represent themselves, and then after all the work and time invested the Plaintiff just vanishes. I'm sure it's rewarding just the same, but it would be nice to have a chance to try and showcase what you have learned. 

 

Can you by answer chance answer how to recite a case? I'm not sure how to say everything with all the numbers involved in cited cases.

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It's crazy. I am sure how there are plenty of examples of Pro Se defendants that prepare hardcore to represent themselves, and then after all the work and time invested the Plaintiff just vanishes. I'm sure it's rewarding just the same, but it would be nice to have a chance to try and showcase what you have learned. 

 

Can you by answer chance answer how to recite a case? I'm not sure how to say everything with all the numbers involved in cited cases.

 

There's something to be said about scaring them off. Not to mention that the effort wasn't wasted, it's helped prepared me for the next round along with being able to pay it forward by helping others.

 

I don't know for certain and tried to search for an answer which didn't yield anything useful. My suggestion is that you state Plaintiff v. Defendant of the case. Make sure you have a copy of the case with you so you can show it to the judge if they aren't familiar with it. Judges aren't going to know ever case.

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My neighbor is an attorney, and I've been asking him how to present things in court. Like Spikey says, he recommends bringing in an outline to crib from. As far as citing orally, I think brevity is probably best. Say "Unifund v Shah" and leave it at that. If he questions further, then give him the whole citation. I suppose it depends on the Judge, and this is just my very uninitiated opinion.

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It's crazy. I am sure how there are plenty of examples of Pro Se defendants that prepare hardcore to represent themselves, and then after all the work and time invested the Plaintiff just vanishes. I'm sure it's rewarding just the same, but it would be nice to have a chance to try and showcase what you have learned. 

 

Can you by answer chance answer how to recite a case? I'm not sure how to say everything with all the numbers involved in cited cases.

Any chance you have to avoid the judge is a good thing. Many CIC members charge into court, and then brain fart. Ask me how I know that :). So making them dismiss is still a win.

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In the case you first mentioned, if you wanted to cite it in court you would say, in Unifund v. Childs, 2010-Ohio-746- the court held that.....

 

I would add that you should not come in loaded down with binders of cases. In a FL case that she lost,  FSU Girl said she struggled to make her points, overloaded with material.  Your case, if it even comes to trial,will be over quickly.

You want an outline on just a few sheets of paper. You want to clearly and concisely tell the judge why the plaintiff should lose and you should win.   

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In my particular case, since I have stated the SOL as an affirmative defense I get the feeling it will come down to a showdown against the opposing attorney concerning which Ohio code applies to credit card cases. I imagine this type of argument would happen in front of the judge for him or her to decide. So I am definitely not trying to overload myself with material and case law, but I did want to come prepared with a minimum of 2-3 examples to cite to the judge, or to use as backup if the other attorney tries to make an argument for the longer Ohio SOL. 

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In the case you first mentioned, if you wanted to cite it in court you would say, in Unifund v. Childs, 2010-Ohio-746- the court held that.....

 

I would add that you should not come in loaded down with binders of cases. In a FL case that she lost,  FSU Girl said she struggled to make her points, overloaded with material.  Your case, if it even comes to trial,will be over quickly.

You want an outline on just a few sheets of paper. You want to clearly and concisely tell the judge why the plaintiff should lose and you should win.   

 

The portion in bold, is that stated just as it appears? Two-Thousand-Ten, Ohio, Seven Fourty-Six?

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In the case you first mentioned, if you wanted to cite it in court you would say, in Unifund v. Childs, 2010-Ohio-746- the court held that.....

 

I would add that you should not come in loaded down with binders of cases. In a FL case that she lost,  FSU Girl said she struggled to make her points, overloaded with material.  Your case, if it even comes to trial,will be over quickly.

You want an outline on just a few sheets of paper. You want to clearly and concisely tell the judge why the plaintiff should lose and you should win.   

 

While I don't disagree with what you're saying, having that information with you is still useful. I needed to refer to the code of civil procedure in court. Also what if the judge isn't familiar with the case law you're citing or remembers the wrong case and says it isn't relevant. Having the paperwork handy is an advantage even if you don't use it.

 

And an outline is super useful for reference rather than flipping through a huge binder of stuff.

 

Edit: I should note that in my court, we are not allowed to use cell phones. So it's not like I could look up rules or case law on the spot. Either you have it with you or you're screwed.

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U.S. Bank v Ibanez, 458 Mass 637 (2011)

Lets say you are using the above case

You say your honor U.S. Bank v Ibanez held that blah blah blah

 

U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Ibanez, 458 Mass. 637 (2011)
held that only the mortgagee can foreclose and that a note holder requires an assignment of the mortgage to do so
 

Lemme splain

U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Ibanez(the name of the case, obviously)

458 Mass (this is the name of the court reporter that the case is listed in) the 458th case Massachusetts court reporter for the year 2011. there are several court reporters,,,Wheat being the oldest reporter, usually where you find a lot of constitutional cases ffrom the late 1700's to the middle 1800's. There is the U.S. court reporter you will see it used as such, Carpenter v. Longan, 83 U.S. 271 (1872), There is the Federal court reporter, used as such, U.S. v. White, 139 F.3d 998 (third volume of the federal reporter. The is the North East court reporter Otterman v Hollingsworth, 214 N.E. 214(Ind Court of appeals 1966) these are the most common you will see although there are other reporters.

 

637 this is the line on which the statement you took from the court case is on, this saves the court time in finding where the citation came from.

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U.S. Bank v Ibanez, 458 Mass 637 (2011)

Lets say you are using the above case

You say your honor U.S. Bank v Ibanez held that blah blah blah

 

U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Ibanez, 458 Mass. 637 (2011)

held that only the mortgagee can foreclose and that a note holder requires an assignment of the mortgage to do so

 

Lemme splain

U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Ibanez(the name of the case, obviously)

458 Mass (this is the name of the court reporter that the case is listed in) the 458th case Massachusetts court reporter for the year 2011. there are several court reporters,,,Wheat being the oldest reporter, usually where you find a lot of constitutional cases ffrom the late 1700's to the middle 1800's. There is the U.S. court reporter you will see it used as such, Carpenter v. Longan, 83 U.S. 271 (1872), There is the Federal court reporter, used as such, U.S. v. White, 139 F.3d 998 (third volume of the federal reporter. The is the North East court reporter Otterman v Hollingsworth, 214 N.E. 214(Ind Court of appeals 1966) these are the most common you will see although there are other reporters.

 

637 this is the line on which the statement you took from the court case is on, this saves the court time in finding where the citation came from.

 

Awesome information! Thank you for sharing this. Now I have a better idea of what I should say and what I can omit. I'll have copies of case law with me in case the judge would like to review anything.

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You do not have to cite the whole case reference, in well known cases like say Miranda v Arizona you can just say objection Miranda V Arizona. If you state the case and the judge does not know the case he may ask what the court held.

 

Another thing that is of utmost importance,,,,if you are going to cite a case read the case and know what the case is about, you do not have to know the case like the back of your hand, but you need to know what it was about. If the judge questions you about the case you just cited and you do not know the case or at least some details of it,the judge may throw it out. What if the judge takes a different view point about how he interprets the case you cited, you may need to argue the case with the judge.

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Great points. I have between 4-6 cases that I plan on referencing regarding specific subjects like SOL, Hearsay, MSJ. Basically the hurdles I think I'll be faced with in the near future.

 

BTW, I have my first CMC coming up this Monday. Does anyone have advice on what to expect? Maybe what I can say or do to help my cause?

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They will sit you down and try to get you to agree to paying the debt. Tell them you want a trial.

 

@BTO429 Can you tell me more about this. Is this like an ambush situation where they sit you in a room, and present rubbish evidence that hasn't been included in the complaint or hasn't been propounded in discovery? I'm not sure if that's allowed or what? I really don't think I'm required to say much, if anything at all. I'll probably ask to dismiss, or trial.

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BTW, I have my first CMC coming up this Monday. Does anyone have advice on what to expect? Maybe what I can say or do to help my cause?

 

CMC is essentially pre-trial. The judge wants to make sure that things are moving forwards, like discovery, etc. It will likely be less than 5 minutes if that. The opposition may try to push you to settle or not.

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