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Sequestration — Expert

State v. Aaron Evans, 2000 WI App 178, 238 Wis.2d 411, 617 N.W.2d 220

For Evans: Steven D. Phillips, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue: Whether the trial court erroneously exercised discretion in preventing a DNA expert from sitting at counsel table.

Holding: “|10 We are satisfied that, on this record, the circuit court did not erroneously exercise its discretion in denying Evans’s request that Friedman be exempted from the sequestration order. Evans has not shown that Friedman’s presence in the courtroom was ‘essential to the presentation of [his] cause’ within the meaning of WIS. STAT. ? 906.15(2)(c). Helpful, perhaps, but not so essential that his attorney could not effectively function with Friedman in the hallway, rather than sitting next to him in the courtroom. Backes’s statements to the circuit court, and Evans’s assertions on appeal are characterized by generalization and vagueness. Friedman’s qualifications in the field of DNA testing were never established, and Evans has not detailed any specific way in which Friedman would have assisted him with respect to the DNA evidence. Finally, as we have noted above, the circuit court kept the door open for defense counsel to make a more specific showing as to the necessity for Friedman’s presence-an offer Evans never took up.”

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