Chapter 03 - The Judicial Process and Cyber-Procedure
2. After losing money due to an accounting firm’s errors, a branch of the Catholic Church
sued to regain the money. During voir dire, the judge refused to let the accounting firm
ask if prospective jurors had given money to any Catholic church or to the plaintiff
Catholic church. The court reasoned that all Catholics would not be biased, only
prospective jurors who had lost money. Accordingly, the court ruled that the trial judge
correctly disallowed questioning generally about gifts to the Catholic church. Although
the appellate court ruled that the defendant should have been allowed to ask about
contributions to the plaintiff church, the court refused to find reversible error. Passion v.
Touche, Ross & Co., 636 N.E.2d 503 (Ill. 1994).
3. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), established a criminal defendant’s right to be
informed of his or her rights. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the protection of the
public may outweigh the defendant’s rights to be informed. Consequently, statements
designed to secure the safety of an officer or the public may be admissible at trial even
when obtained without Miranda disclosures. For a full discussion of this exception
review “The Public Safety Exception to Miranda” on the website of the F.B.I. at
VIII. Teaching Tips and Additional Resources
1. The web site for the federal courts, at http://www.uscourts.gov/Home.aspx .has
extensive information regarding the federal court system.
2. The web site for the U.S. Supreme Court, at http://www.supremecourt.gov/. has
extensive and detailed information regarding the Court including biographies of the
justices that can be accessed through the “About the Court” tab.
3. The website for the U.S. Court of Federal Appeals has extensive information regarding
the court available at http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/.
4. Information regarding specific federal courts of appeal may be found on the court’s
website. For example, the site for the Ninth Circuit is located at
http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/. Consider asking students to locate the Internet site for
the federal circuit court in their jurisdiction.
5. Cameras are not unusual in state courts although, with the exception of a pilot project,
they are not allowed in federal courts. Discuss whether live coverage should be
allowed. In conjunction with the discussion, review the article “Why We’re Not Going
to See Cameras in the Courtroom Anytime Soon” from The Washington Post available
6. As an example of a state appellate court system, go to
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