On behalf of the Suffolk University Law School Moot Court Honor Board, I am proud to present the first Issue in Volume XXV of the Suffolk Journal of Trial & Appellate Advocacy. This Issue contains one lead article and eight student-written pieces, each designed to provide insight and be of practical use to lawyers and judges at the trial and appellate levels.
The lead article, The Use and Abuse of Dogs in the Witness Box, was written by John J. Ensminger, Sherri Minhinnick, James Lawrence Thomas, and Itiel E. Dror. John Ensminger is a member of the New York and United States Supreme Court bars and is the author of Service and Therapy Dogs in American Society and Police and Military Dogs. Sherri Minhinnick is the Director of Operations, canine trainer, and handler at K9 Resources in Kings Mills, Ohio. She served for a time as a limited special deputy with the Warren County Sheriff's Office in Ohio. Additionally, she holds a Special Investigator License in four states and holds clearance for Class 33 High Grade Explosives with the U.S. Department of Justice. James Lawrence Thomas is a clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, and the founder of The Brain Clinic in New York City. He has held faculty appointments at New York University School of Medicine, Fordham University, and John Jay College. Itiel E. Dror is a Senior Cognitive Neuroscience researcher at University College London. He researches a variety of issues regarding psychology, bias, and the law and works closely with the judiciary and law enforcement in the U.S., U.K., and other countries.
The Use and Abuse of Dogs in the Witness Box provides an overview of how courts and state legislatures have sought to define the parameters of using dogs to support children and vulnerable adult witnesses testifying in legal proceedings. The authors postulate that while courts have evaluated when individual dogs can be used to assist in testifying, legislatures have restricted the use of dogs in courtrooms to those that have received specified types of training and certification. This has, they argue, created an unnecessary monopoly and may even be excluding dogs that courts have previously found acceptable and have helped witnesses testify effectively in the past.
The student-written pieces address topics that are of interest to members of the bar in Massachusetts and nationwide. The topics covered involve:
* a look at the use of the individualized theory as compared to the...