Specialized knowledge

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Specialized knowledge

Postby Van Canna » Wed Jan 16, 2002 5:05 am


This is a repost from my forum. What are your thoughts on it?

Posts: 3490
Registered: Mar 99
posted January 14, 2002 11:50 PM
Darren laur wrote:
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
In my opinion, the number one legal issue when using force in a self defense situation will be, was the amount of force used to defend yourself “reasonable” the word reasonable, however, will mean different things to different people. What is a reasonable level of force to you may not be a reasonable level of force to a judge and or jury.

Very important to internalize this and develop a strategy to increase the rulings of “ reasonable level of force” response action in our behalf.

Because of martial arts / specialized corollary training and studies with and without use of weapons, some of us may possess more “specialized knowledge” that the average “reasonable and prudent man” __ something which may trigger a certain level of response force, the average person might not.

Good defense lawyers will instruct self-defense students that the more specialized knowledge they become well versed in, the more flexible the “reasonable and prudent person” test will become as to their response actions in self-defense.

Attorney Branca, in his great book, the law of self defense, explains that the above is very critical when the “specialized knowledge” played a key role in the decision to use a certain level of force in defensive situations.

In order for this specialized [uncommon] knowledge to play a relevant part in a defendant’s conduct, he must show proof of having possessed this knowledge before his response action under scrutiny by the courts, and in determining whether a:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
reasonable and prudent person in similar circumstances, and possessing the same uncommon knowledge would have acted as did the defendant!!

The Tueller drill is a good example of this “specialized knowledge” __ uncommon knowledge to the average person.
Show proof __ this is the key…but how??

This points out to smart ways of using this forum: first get involved in discussions of specialized knowledge, then print the whole thread along with your questions/involvement and “paper trail” of practice of specialized techniques, and put it in a master defense file.

This will be your evidence of specialized knowledge in case you need it to bail you out of a nasty court situation.

Mas Ayoob, president of Lethal force institute, recommends to his LFI students to take copious notes during his lectures, date them, then mail them to their home in a sealed envelope never to be opened unless needed to show evidence of “specialized knowledge” __

Van Canna
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Van Canna
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Specialized knowledge

Postby Alan K » Wed Jan 16, 2002 3:54 pm

Van sensei:

I think that a compendium of knowledge including examples of what and what is not self-defense, based on the specialized knowledge that a person has acquired is an excellent idea.

Few of us with some MA knowledge have the ability to do this.

You for example have Hanshei teaching credentials to do this and attorney's can review it.

What we attempt to do is establish an objective test of reasonableness. The only way that this can become relevant for trial purposes is to establish a standard of care or reasonableness. The standard would not be met by a subjective test alone.

A subjective test would be the one applied by the mindset of each juror as what they feel, in their mind as reasonable. Many cases have stated that in the absence of having to comply with specific instructions, jurors may be able to discern what is reasonable conduct or action.

The standard consists of pre-requisite tests to be applied in the subject matter of self-defense. Example: 1. Was the initial reaction of the defender warranted by the action of the alleged victim?
2. Was the response of the defendant proper as to the amount of force used in the circumstances?

I can see where these seminars are worthy and may be of help. They are also good revenue producers.

I can think of many examples as to how specialized knowledge can be used to assist an MA in a self defense plea.

Let us say that a 300 pound bully conjures up an excuse to whip a 165 pound man in a tavern.

The bully is known to be a brawler and viscious.

The object of his rage happens to be an MA with a shodan in karate and a brown belt in kyusho.

The bully rages and the MA tries to use verbal self-defense to no avail.

The bully comes forward with fists clenched, and fierce hating eyes, at which time the MA steps in and delivers a downward, ridge hand strike with the thumb knuckle hitting the proper jaw juncture, KO'ing the bully.

The MA tries to grab the bully, who is already going to the floor, but the weight of the bully precludes the MA from assisting in a soft landing, and the bully's head strikes the edge of a chair and is out.

Bully could not be revived and MA is arrested.

Surely the specialized training of the MA, should be admitted. Maybe not, but for sake of argument let us say that it was allowed and MA tesitifies, without opposition how his knowledged allowed him to put the bully to sleep instead of having jaw broken and suffering a concussion. He tesitified that he had been trained to do this, and was in the process of helping the bully to sit down and sleep it off, but was pulled off balance by the sheer weight of the bully and the bully hit the chair behind.

You know have a prima-facie case with specialized knowledge showing the intent and training of the MA.

The jury is charged with the self-defense law.

Do we really believe that that jury as a body will properly consider the standards of self-defense, understand them or apply "reasonableness" based on this or will it be what each in their own mind believes to be reasonable?

Part of the answer is directly related to the knowledge which can be delivered to the public, from which pool our jurors are obtained.

While this book may be a bible for MA's and defense counsel IMHO it's relevance must be imparted to a judge and jurors.

We have cases citing the fact that if a foundation is established, evidence of the propensity of violence of the parties can be admissable.

I believe that specialized knowledge would be also admissable if the proper foundation was established.

The book and seminars would then become quite valuable as how and what to do to establish the foundation of admissable evidence.

Alan K
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