Week 10 Eportfolio/Covering Courts
We’ll begin class this week with a workshop on eportfolio. This semester you’ll be using eportfolio to post your final project.
Next we’ll discuss covering courts.
Source: American Bar Association
Writing the court story
Here are some examples of trial stories with the San Francisco Chronicle’s coverage of the Yusef Bey IV trial:
Opening statements: Prosecutor: Evidence links bakery, Bailey killing
Eyewitness testimony: Chauncey Bailey killing described by witnesses
Devaughndre Broussard testimony:
Chauncey Bailey killer takes stand in murder trial
Antoine Mackey testimony: Chauncey Bailey murder defendant testifies
Closing arguments: Bakery defense calls star witness a murdering liar
Conviction: Your Black Muslim Bakery leader guilty of murder
Witness testimony: Sabrina Fulton
Tips for Finding a Trial
- Call the clerk of the superior court, criminal division in your county
- Call the county district attorney’s office and/or public defender’s office
- Go to court and look for a preliminary hearing or a trial.
San Francisco Superior Court (criminal) http://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/divisions/criminal
- Look for trials in the news.
Ongoing court cases:
- Arraignment or plea hearing of Lee Eigl: Wednesday April 5, 9 a.m. 850 Bryant St., Department 9
This will be a very short hearing but since you have background on the case you could write a story on what happens in court. Or you could go to this and then look for a trial.
Preliminary hearing for Frederick Tran, accused of killing SF State student Ariana Hatami: Wednesday, April 26 at 9 a.m San Mateo Country Superior Court, 400 County Center, Redwood City. This is after the deadline but if anyone wants to cover this I will extend the deadline.
Tips for covering a trial:
- Write a lede that sums up the highlight(s) of the day in court (often a news lede, occasionally a feature lede) or what happened in the case (arraignment, bail hearing, etc.) that day.
- Look for moments of drama, surprise, emotion
- Translate jargon
- Include both (or all) sides
- Get direct quotes
- Use proper attribution
- Include background information about the crime:
- Name of victim(s)
- Name of defendant(s)
- Date and location of crime
- Name of court (San Francisco Superior Court, Alameda County Superior Court, etc.)
- Possible sentence
- What is the question in this case?