orange juice, please.

well, well, well.

who do we have here? i guess if i’m interesting enough, in some weird way, to keep you here this long, i’m doing something right.

anyways, you and i, we’ve known each other this long…

right?

so let’s switch it up a bit.

we’re married. we’re doing our own things, i’m a top attorney and with that comes the obligation to travel to wherever i’m needed, at a very– possibly, inconsistent basis. you? you’re successful. whatever you’re doing, you’re known, and you’re profiting. equally, you’re under the same circumstances having to travel sometimes. it happens, but, for the most part, our relationship is strong enough to let it be alright.

you get a call one night, just right before you’re about to walk out the door to a dinner, from a number you hadn’t seen before, and, yeah, you could have let it go to voicemail, but you decide to answer it intuitively. you intend to get off the phone soon enough anyways, as it is. “hello?” you say. “this is the los angeles police department. your wife has been murdered.” what’s going through your mind? (a lot i’d hope, since now i’m dead…)  try to think about this, everything you say is now evidence. because what you didn’t know is that i was murdered in our house. and guess what? now you’re a suspect, not a mere widow who just lost their wife. you don’t say anything, you stand there blank faced, starting to cry, possibly mumbling a bit. the officer says his apologies, and advises that you arrange for a flight back home which by this time you already planned to do so you rushed off the phone. but guess what you forgot to do?

you forgot to ask how i died.

the one sentence, you didn’t ask, puts you in a double homicide case for murder.

you’re not just a widow who lost their wife.

now, fast forward to the year later that this trial occupies, and you, somehow, after having DNA blood samples in the house (even though you were seemingly away), along with mine, and the other person murdered. technologically, the prosecuting had you pretty much pinned, yet your defense got you innocence. “not proven to a reasonable doubt”, that is.

your life is as good as it gets right? i mean, after all of this, now you’re free, but get this, you’re back in prison because the court finds you guilty of the wrongful death of the other person and i. yes, the court can do that.

you know what that’s called? no, not orange juice, or o.j, or “juice”, or anything like that. it’s called diversity jurisdiction.

hard to believe right?

because we all know, (assuming, by this time, your lawyers had assured you that you’re finally out, and you can try to go back to a normal life) the court can’t convict someone of the same crime again. theoretically if i wasn’t dead and you secretly hated me enough, now you could actually kill me, and get away with it… *cue shonda rhimes in the background. what no one told you is that, yes, obviously, your case is murder– you killed someone’s son, and someone’s daughter.

now, that wouldn’t mean much if humans could let things go… (we can’t, that’s fine. at least we’re not like animals, killing for leadership………) but since we can’t, though you were found not guilty of murder, you’re still guilty for the cause of wrongful death.

let’s take a step back, now that you’ve seen the big picture.

diversity jursidction, (what got you out of prison) is a form of subject-matter (subject matter being what’s talked about in court, or represented in debate as they say)  in civil procedure in which a united states district court in the federal judiciary (the smaller court has the power of a higher court) to hear a civil case where the persons that are parties are “diverse” in citizenship. now, this sounds a lot like something that would acquit you, right?

problem is, you’re the defendant, and in this form of subject matter, the burden of proof, or, what’s supposed to prove to a blind jury (who has no outside contact or source for anything happening in the media, and is completely unknowing of anything beyond facts provided in the court) that you were guilty of double homicide.

now since that didn’t happen, being acquitted for wrongful death is  a claim against a person who can be held liable for death. the statute is usually that the action is enforced by a close relative, because, since the person that death was due unto is, well, dead, they cannot bring upon a suit themselves. now, under this claim, you do have to be found guilty beyond reasonable doubt. isn’t that what you just got out of? well, in theory, yes, but, your first case was a case for double homicide, not cause of wrongful death. the difference? under common law, murder is the unlawful killing of two people. while wrongful death is the denoting of a civil action in which damages are sought against a party (you) for causing death, typically when a criminal action has failed or is not attempted — being the “recovery” for a dead person. how do you get that?

damn…

can’t convict someone of the same crime, right?

x. L|V

twitter: @lawyervuitton

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