ACFI Mock Trial – “The Evidence”

Another in the ACFI series of educational and training tools to aid forensic investigators

Mock Trial DVDs

A demonstration on evidentiary issues and principles in a commercial trial setting including fundamental principles of admissibility, hearsay exceptions, probative value, and the true meaning of the protections afforded by the federal and provincial Evidence Acts and the Charter.

This programme was designed to demonstrate the application of the basic principles of the law of evidence in Canada in the context of a civil fraud trial directed in the course of a bankruptcy administration.

During this civil trial you will witness the examination in chief and the cross examination of the plaintiff in making his case, as well as the examination in chief and the cross examination of the defendant in putting in its defence to the case.

The participants, seasoned practitioners in their respective fields, allow time at the end of this lively and sometimes convivial trial for a panel discussion which elaborates further on Canada’s law of evidence.

Run time approx 2:00

This DVD contains a tape of a cross-examination of a witness on an affidavit sworn in support of interim, injunctive relief, a brief re-examination, and a separate segment where the participants form a panel and debrief the attendees of the 2006 ACFI conference which saw their demonstration.  Unlike most cross-examination, this one was overseen by the eminent Justice Gans, whose interventions are most helpful in illustrating the judicial attitude toward an investigator ‘s testimony during cross-examination.   While almost all  training videos are set in a trial setting, the fact is that many investigators are more likely to be required to submit affidavits in support of court applications or motions and be cross-examined on them than they will be asked to testify at trial.  This DVD therefore fills an important niche by providing a first class training video on out of court cross-examinations.  Because the process of cross-examination on an affidavit remains unchanged since 2006, this video remains as relevant today as when it was produced.

The taping lasts approximately 2 hours, with Mr. Rosenberg ‘s  cross-examination lasting about 40 minutes, and Peter Wells ‘ re-examination lasting less than 10 minutes.  Then legal argument follows for about 15 minutes.  Justice Gans then renders reasons for his decision to uphold an interim injunction that was being challenged on the motion. The video concludes with a hour long debriefing by the panelists for the attendees of the conference.  

 The tape is a good illustration of the process as it shows how lawyers typically fumble around at the start of cross-examination to probe for weaknesses, and then penetrating questions follow once those weaknesses have been pinpointed.  As a witness you will want to see how your evidence is woven into legal argument by watching this video. As always, Justice Gans ‘ comments throughout the proceeding are worth their weight in gold, and should be mandatory viewing for any investigator who may be called upon to give evidence in a court of law.

David Debenham