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Fall 2014, Practice Makes Perfect





Legal Lore: A Deserter in France: The Strange Case of Private Wayne E. Powers

In March 1958, French police discovered a man concealed under the stairs in a home in Mont d’Origny, France. The man was Private Wayne E. Powers, an American soldier who had deserted from his unit in December 1944. Since that time, Powers had been hiding out in France and, over the next 13 years, had fathered five children with the French woman who owned the home in which he was discovered. What follows is the story of Private Powers’ 1958 trial by court-martial for desertion and its rather surprising aftermath.

Evidence: The Tactical Choice under Federal Rule of Evidence 703

You can use a witness who happens to be an expert in several ways. For instance, the witness may testify to facts, express a lay opinion, or give the jury a lecture about a scientific theory or technique. However, the expert’s proponent usually wants the witness to do more, namely, to derive a relevant opinion by applying a general theory or technique to case-specific facts. While Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and Daubert, 509 U.S. 579 (1993), control the type of theory or technique the expert may rely on, Rule 703 governs the way in which the expert learns the case-specific facts.