Forfeiture by Wrongdoing

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 1:10 - 1:40 pm

Forfeiture by wrongdoing is a powerful legal doctrine available in domestic violence prosecutions. This doctrine provides that where a victim is unavailable at trial as a result of acts by the defendant designed to procure her unavailability, the Commonwealth may introduce her previous statements as substantive evidence. The defendant, estopped by his own misconduct, forfeits his right to object on hearsay or confrontation clause grounds. In this webinar Carrie Newton, from MDAA’s Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, will discuss notifying the court of the Commonwealth’s intent to invoke the doctrine, proceeding at the requisite evidentiary hearing, and how the forfeiture evidence can be used at trial. This webinar was previously offered on 08/14/13.

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Understanding the Appeals Court’s Decision in Reddy

Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 1:10 - 1:30 pm

On March 19, 2014, the Appeals Court decided Commonwealth v. Reddy, an important case for any prosecutor handling domestic violence prosecutions. In this case, the Court found defense counsel’s ineffective assistance of counsel created a substantial miscarriage of justice because he did not redact specific language, that “there is a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of abuse,” on an abuse prevention order or object to the prosecutor’s closing argument. During this twenty-minute webinar, Carrie Newton from MDAA’s Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit will discuss the facts of the case, what the decision said and offer suggested best practices in offering an abuse prevention order into evidence moving forward.

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