Youth Services Law

Showing 2 posts in Litigation (Discovery).

Testimony from Children

Posted In Child Witness, Litigation (Discovery)

The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently issued an interesting opinion, looking at what formalities are required to accept children as witnesses. In the Matter of Welfare of J.J.W., No. A09-639 (Minn. App. Feb. 9, 2010) involved a four-year-old child's testimony about sexual abuse by a 16-year-old relative.

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Deposing a Child

Posted In Child Abuse, Child Witness, Litigation (Discovery), Personal Injury

I received a call recently from a friend asking for suggestions about an upcoming deposition of a child eyewitness to an accident.  Like all good bloggers, I decided to share my thoughts here.

Guidelines & Protocols

The first thing I always recommend to people preparing for a child's deposition is to read several of the many good publications about forensic interviewing of children.  Not everything in those guidelines will be relevant to your case, and most of them are geared toward sexual abuse investigations, but the guidelines synthesize many years of study and experience about how best to ask children questions about specific events.  Some of the publications I recommend are  the NIHD Interview Protocol (also explained in the Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems), the APSAC Practice Guidelines on Investigative Interviewing, and the Michigan Forensic Interviewing Protocol.

UPDATE:  A friend pointed me to another good resource, Children in the Courtroom, published by NITA.

The next thing I recommend is . . . 

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