Negotiating power at the bench: Informal talk in sidebar sessions
Keywords:sidebar, bench conference, O.J.Simpson, attorney discourse
AbstractThe sidebar, a conference between judge and attorney(s) out of the hearing of the jury, functions primarily as a venue for arguments about evidence admissibility in court. In the O. J. Simpson trial, there were approximately 600 sidebars. A striking characteristic of many of these conferences was the presence of a wide range of types of informal talk, including personal insults, joking, threats and compliments. Rather than seeing these departures from the official business of the courtroom as extraneous and irrelevant, this study suggests that attorneys use informal talk in sidebars strategically in order to gain advantage with the judge through profiling themselves as superior to their opponents and as sharing solidarity with the judge.
How to Cite
Gaines, P. (2002). Negotiating power at the bench: Informal talk in sidebar sessions. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 9(2), 213–234. https://doi.org/10.1558/sll.2002.9.2.213
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