Immigrant court case


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Immigrant court case

  1. 1. 1Students,Today you will be working behind the scenes of the court case John Brown(nativist) v. Adam Berkowitz (immigrant). In this fictitious court case, a nativeborn American is suing a Chinese immigrant for not being able to find work. Youare responsible for helping your team make their case. If the defense loses, theimmigrant and his entire family risks being fired, evicted from their home, anddeported back to their native country.If the plaintiff loses, he has to pay the immigrant for grief and suffering and alsofor the loss of wages due to this court case. He is also responsible for legal fees.You will be graded on the creativity of the argument, the presentation of theargument, and the creativity of character witnesses. Even if your team does notwin the case, you can still receive an “A” on the assignment if you had a compellinglegal argument for your team. This assignment is to be taken seriously. Offensiveand/or derogatory commentary will not be accepted. Court will officially be insession on Monday, August 27th. This gives you exactly two business days toprepare your arguments.1. You will be divided into groups (either plaintiffs- natives/ defendants-immigrants). You cannot volunteer for sides. I will divide the class into groups andwill assign you into one of the two categories. Once you have been assigned to agroup, began to work with your group members on a strategy that will allow you towin your case. I will be the judge (or I will recruit someone), so no volunteers forthat position. There won’t be any jurors unless some can be recruited from anoutside class.2. Decide which group members will be character witnesses (You may use any ofthe theorists/philosophers, stories from Jane Addams’ accounts at the Hull House,and re-enactments from the immigrant survivor stories that were in the text bookor lecture notes. You may also do independent research outside of class. You canprint and bring in pictures to help your side win the sympathy of the jury.Remember that you can create characters as long as you are basing their testimonyon the information that was provided to you in your notes on old/new immigrants,through outside research, or the text book.
  2. 2. 2* Plaintiffs, you can give a nativist a name and have him explain how the low payaffected your family life, relationship with your wife, ability to spend time withyour children, ability to feel like “the man” in your house,…etc. Wives and childrencan also testify about the strain it placed on the family. You can also includethings like avg. worker pay, working conditions,….*Defendants can use the reasons that they came to the U.S. as a part of theirtestimony, any notes or stories from having to live in tenement housing, theChinese Exclusion Act, mob violence(research and find examples), arson,…etc.There is plenty of information in the lecture notes on the way of life for theimmigrants that can be used by witnesses for the defense. Remember, the storieshave to be based on fact. Women and children can also be used as witnesses. Youcan also use pictures of conditions in tenement housing, child labor,…etc. JaneAddams can also be called in as a witness. Be creative.3. Decide on an order for presenting your witnesses and expert testimony.4. Decide who will be lawyers (no more than 2) for your team. Lawyers will need tofamiliarize yourselves with the legal terms at the bottom of this assignment.4. Give the other team a list of your witnesses. You do not have to tell what theirtestimony will be, but do identify them as either wife, child, nativist worker,…etc.When you receive a list of your opponents’ witnesses, try to guess what theirtestimony will be. Find ways to poke holes in their possible testimony. Derogatorycomments will Not be accepted!!! The argument that they shouldn’t have come overin the first place IS NOT A GOOD ARGUMENT!!! I do not expect to see/hearthat one.5. On a separate sheet, please list all group members and their contributions tothe case.COUNSELORS:1. You may object on the grounds that the counsel is leading (putting words intothe witness’s mouth).
  3. 3. 32. You may object for speculation (counsel asks witness a ? that they would haveto guess the answer to- not know for a fact).3. You may object for hearsay—witness does not have first hand knowledge.4. You may object if you feel that he question the counsel has asked is irrelevantto the trial.5. You may object if you feel that the testimony asked of the witness mayprejudice the jury. You can also call a sidebar in this case. A sidebar is when bothcounsels stand in front of the judge an argue their points (or reasons for wantingto exclude testimony) outside of the hearing of the jury.6. Witnesses may be removed from court for becoming hostile or violent.*If you need legal advice, it would be wise to see someone in criminal justice or askMrs. Diane McCord. This is her area and she has always been more than willing tohelp with assignments like this.