Including ... The Role of the Expert Witness • President's Message • Vice-President's Message • Beefing Up Home Security • Attorney Question of the Month • Book Review • Networking • Editor’s Notebook • About this Journal
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The Role of the Expert Witness
An Interview with Emanuel Kapelsohn
Interview by Gila Hayes
Network members and potential members often ask if they join, won’t that mean they can have our Advisory Board on their trial team as expert witnesses. We have to answer that it is a little more complicated than that.
Giving testimony in court may or may not be allowed due to various factors. In addition to 30+ years practicing law and 36 years as a defensive firearms trainer, Network Advisory Board member Emanuel Kapelsohn has frequently given expert testimony about use of force and firearms issues. He well knows the challenges faced by an expert witness.
Let’s switch now to our Q & A format and ask him to educate us about the role of the expert in trial law.
eJournal: Thank you for agreeing to teach us about expert witnesses. What makes an expert?
Kapelsohn: Under either federal law or state law, an expert witness is someone who is qualified by virtue of their training, experience or their education to offer opinions in court about things that lay witnesses would not be permitted to offer opinions on. Those things we call expert opinions. So an expert witness doesn’t necessarily have to have a university degree; they don’t necessarily have to have a certificate that says they are trained in a specific thing.
by Marty Hayes, J.D.
Once again, I start a monthly column while sitting in an airport waiting to return home from the excellent Rangemaster Tactical Conference. It is held yearly in late winter/early spring, and each year I look forward to escaping the rain and cold of the Pacific Northwest to dry out a little and see how the rest of the world lives, while re-connecting with old friends and making new ones. In 2008, I introduced the Network to the gun world at the Rangemaster Conference. Since then, I try to return each year to update the growing number of members who attend the Tactical Conference. This year’s conference was unique, with four Network advisory board members attending and instructing at the event, along with me.
Vice President’s Message
146th NRA Annual Meeting – Join Us
by Vincent Shuck
Marty referred to the upcoming NRA annual meeting in this month’s President’s Column, but consider this your official invitation to join Gila, Marty and me at the NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta. The meeting will be conducted at the Georgia World Congress Center, April 28-30, 2017.
The city of Atlanta rose from the ashes of the American Civil War to become a national center of commerce. It is known for including the world’s busiest airport, home of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, and the Atlanta Braves, Hawks and Falcons professional teams.
Beefing Up Home Security
Massad Ayoob’s interview in last month’s journal about answering a knock at the door generated quite a lot of discussion. A member from FL requested, “I and perhaps a few other members would appreciate a short list of protective equipment we might consider adding to our residences…motion and photocell driven floodlights, motion activated doorway area video or audio-video recorders, and so on.” As if in answer to his request, another member offered us a briefing from his work as a security technician, which we are happy to share.
by Benjamin Jolly
Capable and reliable home surveillance systems are more affordable than ever. Last month’s article by Massad Ayoob clearly showed the advantages of having an eye outside of your home. The ring® video doorbell is inexpensive and can be installed by anybody; I recommend it without reservation.
Attorney Question of the Month
This month’s Attorney Question of the Month is drawn from a fairly common question that Network members often ask us. Questions about “good Samaritan” duties come up so often that we have asked our Network Affiliated Attorneys the following question to help members better understand where their responsibilities as armed citizens begin and end. We asked–
In your state, does the private armed citizen have any legal obligation to act in a situation where he/she observes and might be able to stop a violent attack against another person? Are you aware of any case in which a citizen has been held liable for injuries or harm to another to whom he or she had no prior obligation, as would be created between doctor and patient, for example.
Live Fire Drill Cards™
and Handgun Training Log
By Steve Barnett
Suggested retail $59.95 at https://livefiredrillcards.com
Reviewed by Gila Hayes
Several months ago, Network member Steve Burnett generously shared several prototype copies of a practice aid he was developing, a binder entitled Live Fire Drill Cards™ and Handgun Training Log. The product was so nice that I readily accepted his invitation to use what he had developed and if his Drill Cards proved useful, tell our fellow Network members about them. Since then, he has made several upgrades, resulting in a very nice three-ring binder stuffed to the gills with shooting drills focused on honing the various aspects of handgun accuracy. Despite the variety of exercises he has gathered in the Drill Cards binder, he continuously returns the user’s focus to accuracy throughout his work.
News from our Affiliates
Compiled by Josh Amos
It looks like spring is here and winter is finally relaxing its hold on all of us, so it’s time to get out and do some shooting! Many of us have reinvigorated training schedules and are getting back out to the range. As training starts back up, our goal this year is to have each affiliate give out 200 of our Foundation’s booklets What Every Gun Owner Needs to Know About Self-Defense Law to their students.
Affiliates, if 200 hundred students is a hard goal to reach, we encourage you to distribute booklets at ranges, gun shows, matches, gun shops, or any of the many places you meet up with responsible armed citizens. Check your booklet inventory before summer starts! If you need more booklets to give out to your clients, please contact us and we will get you resupplied.
by Gila Hayes
“Words matter.” –My mother
“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.”–Confucius
We founded the Network on a base of serious-minded armed citizens who had studied use of force and post-incident possibilities then choose how they wished to fight political prosecutions and punitive civil law suits that punish the citizen who justifiably fights off a deadly attack. Because the concern addressed by Network membership benefits follows a type of occurrence–self defense, we have from Day One had to spend considerable time and effort to discourage members and non-members alike from calling Network membership benefits “by the wrong name;” from erroneously calling it insurance. We believe members must understand what they receive from membership benefits, and that understanding cannot be achieved by failing to “call things by their proper name.”