On Demand

Issues With Child Witnesses in Illinois Courts

1h 1m

Created on May 30, 2019




When a child has been the victim of abuse or witnessed traumatic events, they may need to testify in court. For attorneys, working with child witnesses can be fraught. Children are particularly vulnerable witnesses who may have a hard time recalling memories or describing their experiences coherently. This program, taught by Linda Watson, a family and criminal law attorney in Peoria, will guide attorneys through best practices when working with child witnesses.

The course will address the admissibility of a child's statements when describing abuse, and state of mind exceptions in a variety of contexts, such as when presenting evidence of a traumatic event or expressing a preference for where they live in a family matter. The program will also discuss what attorneys should - or should not - discuss with Guardians Ad Litem, when to involve a forensic evaluator, and issues with audio or video recordings of child witnesses.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Admit or exclude testimony from a child witness, including audio or video recordings
  2. Grasp the state of mind exception
  3. Work with appointed Guardians Ad Litem
  4. Hire qualified forensic evaluators

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