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Assignment 3: Graded Weekly Assignment: Ira Mendelson v. Jose Servantes: Mary’s Testimony

The facts of the Mendelson case get more complicated with this assignment as we examine potential testimony from a new witness. You will need to address competency, impeachment and ethical considerations in this assignment.

All the passengers who were sitting far from Ira Mendelson, on the opposite side of the bus, were consistent in their testimony—the emergency window suddenly opened, and the man fell out. One passenger, an 80-year-old woman, Mary, who was sitting behind Mendelson initially testified that she saw him tampering with the lock on the emergency exit window. She said she saw a knife or a pen in his hand, which he was inserting into the lock. Later when questioned by a police officer many times, she was apparently confused and stated that now she was not sure. She was the only witness who could support the bus driver's version that the emergency exit was secured adequately. Mary lives in Michigan and is visiting her daughter in New Jersey.

Your lawyer wants to analyze the impact of Mary's testimony on the case. She asks you to create an interoffice memo addressing the following:

  • The competency of Mary as a witness—would she make a credible witness? Why or why not?
  • Can Mary be impeached? How?
  • Under which circumstances is it acceptable to try to have witnesses change their version of an event?

Include a list of questions you'll ask Mary to eliminate any inconsistencies in her testimony.

Provide the list of evidences crucial in the defense of the bus driver.

On a separate page, cite all sources using the Bluebook format.

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