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Law School Open Memo - Case Study Example

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1. Is there a "dangerous patient exception" pursuant to the Federal Rules of Evidence that will overcome the presumption of privilege and thus compel the defendants' psychologist to testify against him at trial
2. May the defendant be prosecuted under the intimidation provision set forth in 18 U.S.C…
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Law School Open Memo

Download file to see previous pages... robbery committed pursuant to the statute is twenty years, or 240 months. Id.

Testimony by Dr. Caffrey reveals that she had knowledge that there was a possibility of

forseeing the the robbery committed by Norwich. Additionally, the bank teller has stated

that she knew that the "gun" toted by Norwich was actually a toy gun. This

memorandum is respectfully submitted to address, the issue of psychologist privilege,

and the issue whether Norwich's use of a toy gun (as recognized by the victim, here the

bank teller) can be asserted so as to fail prosecution pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 2113 (a).

I. Background of The New York State and Federal Rule Pertaining to Privledge.

Federal law recognizes a privilege protecting confidential communications

between a psychotherapist and his or her patient. Jaffee v. Redmond, 518 U.S. 1, 10

(1996). Although common-law rulings may once have been primary source of new

developments in federal privilege law, that is no longer case. Fed.Rules Evid.Rule 501,

28 U.S.C.A. However before determining whether an exception is carved out, the Court
will look to the rules of evidence of a particular state, here, New York. Fed.Rules
Evid.Rule 501; 28 U.S.C.A.

The common law knew no privilege for confidential information imparted to a

physician. 8 Wigmore, Evidence 2380-2391 (McNaughton rev. 1961). When a

physician raised the question before Lord Mansfield whether he was required to disclose

professional confidences, the line was clearly drawn: "If a surgeon was voluntarily to

reveal these secrets, to be sure, he would be guilty of a breach of honor and of great

indiscretion; but to give that information in a court of justice, which by the law of the

land he is bound to do, will never be...
2. Yes, the type of gun and victims knowledge (here the bank teller) that the gun was a water gun is irrelevant because courts have already ruled that toy guns are an intimidating weapon for 18 U.S.C. 2113 (a) purposes.
This firm represents Clyde Norwich, a man this firm believes will be charged shortly with bank robbery. Clyde suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and robbed a bank in August of this year. At the time of the robbery, he was under the care of a psychologist who possesses a Phd. in abnormal clinical psychology. The psychologist, Dr. Caffrey, believes that Mr. Norwich ceased taking his medication that regulated his behavior and further admits that Norwich shared his plan to rob the bank with her. Indeed, Mr. Norwich robbed the bank that he had specifically identified during treatment. Norwich is expected to be charged pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 2113 (a).
original form was as follows: "No person authorized to practice physic or surgery shall be allowed to disclose any information which he may have acquired in attending any patient, in a professional character, and which information was necessary to enable him to prescribe for such ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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