Monday, April 20, 2015
Right to Be Present
I am working on a brief where the legal issue is the right of a party to be present for the entire trial. Part of due process and a right of confrontation requires that a party be allowed to be present. Obviously, a party can act in a way in the courtroom to authorize his or her exclusion. However, merely because a witness may be uncomfortable or even traumatized is not a sufficient basis to exclude a party. The comments to Rule 615 of the Rules of Evidence seem to indicate this. This issues does not seem to have been expressly raised in a Mississippi case but the principal seems to be present in a number of cases.