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The Expert Witness and Trial Strategy Pt 2
An Interview with Massad Ayoob
Interview by Gila Hayes
In the September 2021 edition of this journal, we talked with Massad Ayoob about the role of the expert witness in defending use of force in self defense, cases where he has testified and the many lessons learned from those cases. With over 40 years as a use of force and violence dynamics expert (in addition to authoring a huge number of books, articles, videos and teaching or speaking on self-defense issues), it is not surprising that our interview last month ran so long that we chose to pause half way through and now we pick back up where we left off. If you missed the first segment, please return to https://armedcitizensnetwork.org/september-2021-front-page to set the context for completion of this final segment with Massad speaking about use of force issues and the expert witness’s work with the legal profession.
eJournal: Of your expert witness cases, what has been the ratio between police use of force and self defense by private citizens?
Ayoob: It has averaged about half police, half private citizens. Right now, I have twelve or thirteen going and more of those are for private citizens. I try not to have that many cases going, but the courts were backed up before the pandemic and then we had 18 months of the courts being closed and now the floodgates have opened. I try to limit it and I only take cases in which I feel like the guy is on the side of the angels. I tell the attorneys right up front, “Look, it is going to cost you X number of dollars for me to look at the discovery and there is no guarantee I will take the case,” and that weeds out a whole lot of the weak ones, right there.
by Marty Hayes, J.D.
This has been an extremely busy month at the Network and especially for me. This column will be somewhat personal in that I am going to tell you about a medical issue that I have been dealing with for six months. I have worked around an increasing serious spinal issue that took more and more of my left arm function and created considerable pain. In the late summer, I began preparing for and recently underwent spinal surgery. That’s the bad news!
The good news is that surgery took place three weeks ago and I am now on the mend and to all appearances, I am doing pretty good and should end up with an interesting scar once the staples come out. Also, in the “good news” column is the fact that I was able to work through the pain and fulfill my responsibilities, so no one had to step in and take care of my Network duties for me.
Attorney Question of the Month
As our Network President Marty Hayes indicated in his column last month, we often turn to our Affiliated Attorneys for a broader understanding of how various principles of law are applied across the nation. Looking more deeply into one of the issues the Washington Office of Insurance Commissioner originally raised but later dropped, we asked our affiliated attorneys to share their knowledge and experience with innocent clients who plead guilty when given an attractive plea offer. We asked--
Why might an innocent person choose to plead guilty to a crime they did not commit? Have you seen this occur first-hand?
So many attorneys wrote in to share their thoughts that while we anticipated wrapping up this question in this edition, we will have more commentaries from attorneys practicing in different states in our November journal.
Calm Every Storm
Preventing Aggressive Behavior With Your Words
By Brendan King
Independently published (June 22, 2015)
215 pages, Paperback $12.95
eBook $7.45 on Amazon
Reviewed by Gila Hayes
“I didn’t do anything! He just went off on me.” A lot of interpersonal conflict could be avoided if we were better at recognizing how our words and actions elicit what seems to be out-of-proportion reactions. I am always interested to learn how to better disengage, how to avoid increasing an upset person’s likelihood of lashing out, and in that study, to uncover unconscious behaviors that escalate instead of calming.
Looking Forward and Back
by Gila Hayes
February 2008 marked the first edition of the Network’s online journal, our way of staying in touch with our members and reaching out to prospective members. For the ensuing 152 months, our monthly journal has shared our viewpoints, concerns and raison d’être for forming the Network as an organization of like-minded men and women banding together to look out for one another in the legal aftermath that follows use of force in self-defense.
We have enjoyed the support and generosity of many of the self-defense education leaders who have written commentaries, answered thousands of questions through our Q & A lead articles from viewpoints spanning uber-conservative military veterans to sophisticated intellectuals with less time in the trenches but gifted in analytical and instructional skills that help laypersons like me understand issues like human physiology under extreme stress, as only one example. Not only have these subject matter experts generously shared the time to answer questions, but they also reviewed the resulting articles for accuracy and completeness before release for the edification of our readers.
About this Journal
The eJournal of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. is published monthly on the Network’s website at http://armedcitizensnetwork.org/our-journal. Content is copyrighted by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc.
Do not mistake information presented in this online publication for legal advice; it is not. The Network strives to assure that information published in this journal is both accurate and useful. Reader, it is your responsibility to consult your own attorney to receive professional assurance that this information and your interpretation or understanding of it is accurate, complete and appropriate with respect to your particular situation.
In addition, material presented in our opinion columns is entirely the opinion of the bylined author, and is intended to provoke thought and discussion among readers.