This is a discussion on Legal Advice - John Farnam's quips within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Legal Advice 11 Sept 09 More sage legal advice, from a well-known trial-lawyer and student: "One is well-advised to quickly and discretely retreat in the ...
11 Sept 09
More sage legal advice, from a well-known trial-lawyer and student:
"One is well-advised to quickly and discretely retreat in the face of dangerous threats, assuming retreat can be accomplished in relative safety. There are many practical advantages to extracting oneself from threatening situations. One is that no court has ever sent anyone to prison for retreating!
From the standpoint of defending, in criminal court, the actions of my client, putting forth the tedious argument that he was legally entitled to majestically defend his position with gunfire, never giving an inch, is far from my favorite approach. I've been in this business a long time, and I promise you that wearisome, hair-splitting pedants do not successful trial-lawyers make!
However, even when some sort of 'retreat' is required by law, but doing so will likely get you killed or seriously injured, then you're just going to have to deal with the situation as best you can, worrying about legal ramifications later. No law, anywhere that I know of, requires one to retreat, when doing so puts him, and/or other innocent parties, in peril.
My best advice:
(1) Adopt a personal lifestyle that deliberately avoids dangerous places and situations (2) Be alert and aware (3) Exit potentially threatening circumstances early on, when you can (4) Shoot (with precision), when you have no choice (5) Stop shooting when threats are clearly abrogated (6) Stay alert and get to a place of relative safety (7) Call police at your first practical opportunity (8) When police arrive, tell them just enough so that they understand whom you are and what role you played (9) Otherwise, politely insist that your lawyer be personally present before answering questions, and thereafter (10) Exercise your right to remain silent."
Comment: In addition, understand that whatever you do, chose not to do, or fail to do, it won't be perfect! Everyone, from media commentators, to investigators, to judges, to lawyers, to plaintiff's experts will wearisomely point out where, and how, you could have done it better.
And, to one degree or another, they'll be right!
Fortunately, the law doesn't require you to be perfect. The law only requires you to be "reasonable," whatever that means!
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
I would rather die with good men than hide with cowards
If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy."
M&Pc .357SIG, 2340Sigpro .357SIG
That's some very good points. Even if you were to use your firearm in a self defense situation and a life was lost, there is a good chance it will be up to a jury to determine if the use of a firearm was justifiable. A court will also look at what lead up to the incident and if it at any point the situation could be have been avoided.
Don't thank me.
I did Control-A/C/V.
Thank John Farnam. In fact...Go train with him. He's ******* brilliant and is an understated badass.
All are very good points...:yup
Practice the first three...
(1) Adopt a personal lifestyle that deliberately avoids dangerous places and situations
(2) Be alert and aware
(3) Exit potentially threatening circumstances early on, when you can
...and your life should be fairly simple, even though there are no guarantees.
Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
Words to live by.
"Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".
"A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".
One of the coolest things I've ever seen was when someone in the class left a steel plate turned 90 degrees on the stand and someone challenged John to knock it off. One shot. Ding. He did take two seconds to concentrate though, lol.
Thanks, Mitchell... very pertinent, basic information that every permitted person should be taught from the beginning.
It could be worse!
I've often pondered what "reasonable" really means in practical terms. Usually it's when I get a jury duty summons. You see, I consider myself a reasonable man, whose opinions and judgements have been influenced by my long life's history.
I have a good friend of over 40 years that is a deep seated liberal that has never been exposed to violence. We were watching a movie where someone was being confronted leading to attack. Her immediate reaction was for them to call the police. I said they will put a chalk line around the victim by the time they get there. She just looked at me in total confusion and said no more (neither did I). So if we were on a jury I know she would see things from a totally different perspective than would I. Yet both would be actually "reasonable". The next point is what does a "jury of your peers" actually mean in practical terms.
Not if they call timeout before making the call.I have a good friend of over 40 years that is a deep seated liberal that has never been exposed to violence. We were watching a movie where someone was being confronted leading to attack. Her immediate reaction was for them to call the police. I said they will put a chalk line around the victim by the time they get there. She just looked at me in total confusion and said no more (neither did I). So if we were on a jury I know she would see things from a totally different perspective than would I. Yet both would be actually "reasonable". The next point is what does a "jury of your peers" actually mean in practical terms.
Under the US Constitution you have a right to a Jury Trial if you chose, but no right to a 'jury of your peers'.
References to 'peers' is from the 1297 Magna Carta, Clause 38:
No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way harmed, nor will we go upon him nor will we send upon him, except by the legal judgement of his peers or by the law of the land.
Your 'peers' in the old english sense were non-serf freemen if you were a non-serf freeman, or other nobility if you were a noble.
In America, we are all peers in that we have no special social classes with inate, in-born rights above and beyond other people. Except the Kennedy clan, but we are slowly getting rid of them through good luck and cheap whiskey.
As to what is a reasonable man under American law...it depends.
The reasonable man theory refers to a test whereby a hypothetical person is used as a legal standard, especially to determine if someone acted with negligence. This hypothetical person referred to as the reasonable/prudent man exercises average care, skill, and judgment in conduct that society requires of its members for the protection of their own and of others' interests. This serves as a comparative standard for determining liability. For example, the decision whether an accused is guilty of a given offense might involve the application of an objective test in which the conduct of the accused is compared to that of a reasonable person under similar circumstances.
The purpose of a jury is to take as best a cross section of the community and have them apply their judgement to the case at hand.
Is it perfect?
But...it's worked out fairly good for the past few hundred years. A jury is a group of people who's combined life experience is about 500 years, combined IQ of about 1000 and has at least 50% of them at any given time have an active bull...detector.