Investigative interviewing involves eliciting a detailed and accurate account of an event or situation from a person to assist in decision making. The method is ethical and research based, and aims at maximizing the likelihood of obtaining relevant information while minimizing the risks of contaminating evidence obtained in questioning.
Interviewing witnesses for personal injury, regulatory, and criminal law matters is one of the many ways I can help lawyers build cases.
A prominent criminal lawyer and I travelled to Western Canada to interview several witnesses that could potentially shed light on the background of his client’s marriage. His client and her husband had only been living in Ontario for a short time before she plunged a kitchen knife into him while he slept. He bled to death while en route to the hospital and she was charged with first-degree murder.
I interviewed numerous witnesses who provided accounts of psychological, verbal, and chronic low-level physical violence, as well as other major elements of coercive control (such as isolation and humiliation) that left the wife in a constant state of fear for herself and her son.
The skillful defence lawyer called six witnesses from Western Canada who provided evidence at trial, along with expert testimony on battered wife syndrome and coercive control, to fully develop the case for self-defence. As the trial judge disallowed the initial self-defence plea, the defence instead argued that she was guilty of manslaughter, but not first-degree murder.
After a four-day deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty of first-degree murder, but guilty of manslaughter. Her conviction and sentence were later appealed, and The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal on conviction, but allowed the appeal on sentencing and reduced her sentence to time served.
The Court of Appeal concluded that the trial judge erred in focusing on the degree of abuse she suffered, rather than on the impact this abuse had on her.
Do you have witnesses to be interviewed?
I've taken over 1000 witness statements, many of which have made the difference in the outcome of my client’s cases.
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