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#5 - Judge: The case before me involves a plaintiff and

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Complete Question Explanation

Strengthen—PR. The correct answer choice is (B)

Your task in this Strengthen question is to select the answer containing a rule that best supports the
judge’s conclusion that the plaintiff’s request, to question each defendant without their codefendants
or their codefendants’ legal counsel present, cannot be granted. The judge reached that decision
based on the fact that two of the codefendants share the same legal counsel, and that the court will
not order any defendant to find new legal counsel.

The court’s reliance on the shared legal counsel to deny the plaintiff’s request implies that each
defendant must have the right to the presence of their own legal counsel during questioning. Your
prephrase is that the correct answer will provide a rule that a defendant has the right to have legal
counsel present during questioning.

The incorrect answers will each contain a principle that fails to support the conclusion, either
because it has no effect or because it undermines the conclusion.

Answer choice (A): This choice has no impact on the conclusion, which had nothing to do with the
forced disclosure of information.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. Since two defendants share legal counsel, it
would be impossible for each defendant to enjoy the right of counsel during questioning while also
granting the plaintiff’s request that the defendants be questioned without any codefendant’s counsel
being present.

Answer choice (C): This choice has no effect on the conclusion, because the issue of a person
refusing to answer questions during a legal proceeding was not before the court.

Answer choice (D): As with (A) and (C), this choice has no effect on the conclusion, because there
was no question in the stimulus of granting a right to the plaintiff that would be denied the plaintiff.
Any right at issue would pertain to the right to counsel, and there is no indication regarding the legal
counsel status of the plaintiff.

Answer choice (E): Once again, since the right of defendant’s legal counsel to question the plaintiff
was not at issue, this choice has no effect on the conclusion.
mkuo
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Hi all,

This question really confuses me.

The request from the plaintiff wishes to question each of the three codefendants without codefendants or their legal counsel to be around. I think I understand that. So the plaintiff wants the codefendants to be questioned individually without the presence of anyone else (other codefendants and legal counsels).

Then the stem brought something that I suppose is the counter premise ("however") where two of the three codefendants share a single counsel. How does this come into play?

The correct answer (B) defendants have the right to have their legal counsel present when being questioned... doesn't need that premise... does it? what is the point of that counter premise? does it matter if it's 3 codefendants sharing 1 legal counsel or they each their own? To me, it doesn't seem to matter...

I'm missing something or misunderstood something here... could someone please point it out?

Thanks in advance!
Steve Stein
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In that one, a plaintiff wants to question three codefendants, one by one, without the other two codefendants or their lawyers present. Two of the codefendants share counsel, so the judge denies the request.

The question asks which choice provides the most support for the judge's conclusion, that the plaintiff should not be allowed to question each defendant in the absence of the other two codefendants and those codefendants' lawyers.

If the principle in answer choice B is applied, this supports the judge's conclusion:

"Defendants always have the right to have their legal counsel present."

For the two defendants who share the same lawyer--let's call them Abe and Bob, if the plaintiff wants to just question Abe, there is no way to get rid of Bob and Bob's lawyer--without also getting rid of Abe's lawyer. The principle in choice B prohibits this scenario, providing support for the judge's ruling.

Tough one! I hope that's helpful--let me know--thanks!

~Steve
Steve Stein
PowerScore Test Preparation
mkuo
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Thanks Steve! It is clear to me now where I misunderstood the question.
kfain
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I am having a lot of issues understanding the reasoning in this argument. I chose answer choice A after getting very frustrated with the answer choice because none of them seemed correct to me. I do not understand why the court not wanting to order a co-defendant to obtain new counsel has anything to do with the Defendant having their counsel present.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!!
Andrew Ash
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Hi K,

Thanks for your post!

The key to this question is to fully understand what's going on in the (somewhat confusing) stimulus:

Premise: Three people (let's call them Archie, Ben and Charlie) are defendants in a trial. They all have lawyers.

Premise: The plaintiff wants to question all of them separately, and without their co-defendants' lawyers. So she wants to question A without B and C's lawyers present, B without A and C's lawyers present, and C without A and B's lawyers present.

Premise: Some of them (let's say B and C) have the same lawyers.

Conclusion: The plaintiff's request cannot be granted.

There's a weird jump going on here: why does the judge not want to grant the request?

If there were an additional premise, that a defendant's own lawyer needed to be present while they were being questioned, that would certainly help the argument. If B's lawyer needs to be present when B is being questioned, but B's lawyer is also C's lawyer, then the plaintiff can't have what she wants, the ability to question B without A and C's lawyers being present. And that's what answer choice (B) offers us: the information that a defendant's own lawyer needs to be present.

I hope that helps!

Best,
Andrew
ericau02
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I got this right but I had trouble understanding it. So basically what I am taking from this is that the plantiff wants to questions 3 codefendants one by one but because two of them share a lawyer, you cant because... what?
If co defendent A and codefendent B both share a lawyer, if the plantiff wants to questions A without the other three CoDef's wouldnt it be just that the lawyer shared for both of them would be in the courtroom twice?
Brook Miscoski
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Erica,

The judge says that if he granted the order, he'd be forcing a codefendant to get new legal counsel. You have to pick the choice that explains why. (B) explains that each defendant has the right to have legal counsel present during questioning. This explains why questioning the codefendants the way the plaintiff asks would not be allowed. The codefendants who share legal counsel would each be entitled to have that attorney present during questioning. That attorney does not stop being legal counsel for defendant A simply because the plaintiff is questioning defendant B. Thus, the plaintiff's request can't be granted.