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Opinion Digests

Criminal – Indictment – Fatal Variance From Proof (access required)

Although defendant’s original indictment charged him with willfully failing to appear on Jan. 10, 1992, for trial of his offense, the amendment of the indictment, with agreement of defense counsel, to charge willful failure to appear on that date “as ...

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Domestic Relations – Child Custody – Father's Motives (access required)

Where the trial court in this child custody dispute conducted a two-day hearing in which numerous witnesses testified for both parties, and the court’s letter opinion stated that it conducted a full review of the evidence in relation to the ...

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Criminal – Larceny From Person – Constructive Possession (access required)

Where the stolen envelope containing cash was tucked down between the side of the wheelchair and its seat belt near the victim’s left thigh, the envelope was in the victim’s constructive possession and was within his immediate custody and control, ...

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Criminal – Plea Withdrawal – Lawyer's Testimony (access required)

Where the trial court required defendant’s public defender to testify against defendant on the matter of defendant’s request to withdraw his no-contest pleas and to receive substituted counsel, the court violated defendant’s constitutional right to counsel. Defendant, who was entitled ...

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Evidence – Other Crimes – Burglary & Robbery (access required)

At defendant’s trial on abduction and robbery charges, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of a similar robbery committed by defendant. Both cases that defendant allegedly committed involved forced entry into ground-level residences while the ...

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Criminal – First-Degree Murder Of Wife – Defendant's Lapses Into Spanish – Repetitive Testimony (access required)

Where defendant became very emotional during his testimony at his trial for the first-degree murder of his wife and occasionally reverted to speaking in Spanish, and defense counsel had to go over defendant’s testimony several times to make sure the ...

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Workers' Comp – Slip & Fall – Injury By Accident – Unwitnessed Accident – Prior Accident (access required)

Although claimant previously had reported a similar unwitnessed on-the-job fall, the earlier incident did not render his testimony about his more recent unwitnessed fall inherently incredible as a matter of law, and his testimony about the fall constitutes credible evidence ...

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