Judge John Dixon's dead body was found with a gunshot wound in the head. His wife, the plaintiff, demands that Providential Life Insurance Company pay on Dixon's life insurance policy, but Providential refuses. Student's skills will be tested with this well-balanced file bringing in equal number of verdicts for both the plaintiff and the defense.
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Based on the original case file by James H. Seckinger.
Judge John Dixon's dead body was found with a gunshot wound in the head. His wife, the plaintiff, demands that Providential Life Insurance Company pay on Dixon's life insurance policy, but Providential refuses. The coroner, Dixon's personal physician, determined the death was accidental, but Providential claims the coroner's conclusion was tainted by his friendship with the judge and that Dixon's death was, in fact, a suicide.
The student's skills will be tested with this well-balanced file bringing in equal number of verdicts for both the plaintiff and the defense. There are four witnesses for the plaintiff and three for the defendant. Dixon v. Providential Life Insurance Co. has a courtroom technology focus and includes a CD with exhibits.
Law professors may request the teaching notes for this publication by emailing ReviewCopy@lexisnexis.com.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Resume of Dr. Sharpe
Deposition of Mary L. Dixon
Deposition of Robert L. Wilson
Report and Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Upchurch
Applicable Nita Statutes
Case Specific Jury Instructions
General Jury Instructions
Exhibit 1. Life Insurance Profile for John Dixon
Exhibit 2. Application for Insurance
Exhibit 3. Life Insurance Policy
Exhibit 4. Letter from Providential Life Insurance Company to Mrs. Dixon
Exhibit 5. Insurance Check
Exhibit 6. Letter from Mrs. Dixon to Providential Life Insurance Company
Exhibit 7. Letter from William Burns to Judge Dixon
Exhibit 8. Letter from Judge Dixon to William Burns
Exhibit 9. Letter from William Burns to Judge Dixon
Exhibit 10. Diagram of Shotgun
Exhibit 11. Diagram of Skull Prepared by Dr. Sharpe
Exhibit 12. Diagram of Dixon House
Exhibit 13. Diagram of Dixon Study
Exhibit 14. Memorandum
Exhibit 15. Memo by Pine Weaver Investments
Exhibit 16. Photograph of Judge Dixon Taken the Summer Before His Death
Exhibit 17. Photographs Taken by Fred Webb at the Death Scene
Exhibit 18. Photographs Taken by Fred Webb After the Investigation at the Death Scene
Thumbnails of Slides
October 14, 2010
Frank D. Rothschild
Frank D. Rothschild has taught and lectured on trial advocacy since the 1970s. During that time he has been a NITA team leader and faculty member in hundreds of basic and advanced trial, deposition and technology courses. He has designed and been faculty at innumerable in-house programs for firms, insurance companies, public defender and prosecution agencies. In 1996 he received the Hon. Prentice H. Marshall Faculty Award from NITA. Mr. Rothschild graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and then clerked at the U.S. Court of Claims in Washington, D.C. He then started a private general practice in Marin County, California, before becoming a public defender in Juneau, Alaska. He became a civil litigator for Perkins Coi in its Anchorage, Alaska office, followed by becoming a felony prosecutor for the Anchorage District Attorney's office. In 1985 he moved to Hawaii, where he has lived since. Besides the many trial training programs he teaches each year, Mr. Rothschild also serves as an arbitrator/mediator for the American Arbitration Association and Dispute Prevention and Resolution, based in Honolulu. He has also served as a per diem judge on Kauai since 1994, and is a member of the appellate mediation panel for the Hawaii Judiciary's Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution. Mr. Rothschild has authored or co-authored over twenty publications including PowerPoint 2003: 50 Great Tips for Better, Easier Slides (NITA 2005); PowerPoint 2002 for Litigators (NITA 2002) and a chapter titled "Top Ten Screwups in Direct and Cross Examination of Experts" in 2000 Wiley Expert Witness Update (Aspen Law and Business 1999).
James H. Seckinger
James H. Seckinger, one of the nation's outstanding trial-advocacy teachers, has been part of the faculty of the Notre Dame Law School since 1974. Professor Seckinger teaches and writes in the areas of deposition techniques, evidence, professional responsibility and trial advocacy. Since 1973, he has been a member of the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) and served as its director from 1979 to 1994. He earned his B.S. from St. John's University (Minnesota) in 1964, his M.S. from Vanderbilt University in 1968, and his J.D. from Notre Dame in 1968, where he served as articles editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. A member of the Colorado Bar since 1968 and the Indiana Bar since 1976, Professor Seckinger clerked for the Honorable William E. Doyle on the U.S. District Court in Denver, Colorado (1968-69), served as director of litigation at Denver Legal Aid (1969-72) as a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow, served as chief deputy district attorney at the Denver District Attorney's office (1972-74), and held a visiting professorship at Cornell (1978-79).
Edward R. Stein
Edward R. Stein is the managing partner of the Ann Arbor office of Smith Haughey Rice and Roegge. He practices primarily in the areas of medical malpractice and other civil litigation. Mr. Stein is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he also attended law school. He joined Smith Haughey Rice and Roegge in 2002, leaving his longtime practice with Stein, Moran, Raimi and Goethel, P.C. In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Stein also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School. He teaches trial practice and evidence. He is a former director of the Spring Break Trial Practice Program. He is a fellow of the American Board of Trial Advocacy and a recipient of its Distinguished Service Award and Prentice Marshall Faculty Award. Mr. Stein has been the I. Goodman Cohen Lecturer in Trial Advocacy at Wayne State University Law School. He is also a frequent faculty member for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. He frequently lectures on various aspects of trial practice, including the use of electronic evidence.
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