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Eadwine v. Eanwene (sometime before 1038)
    (An Anglo-Saxon trial before the gemot (a meeting of the people to settle disputes) in which Eadwine claims land owned by his mother; the gemot sends thanes (knights) to ask her what's up; his mother then cleverly wills the land and all her possessions to a kinswoman, frustrating the son's devious plot)

Trial by Ordeal
    (A English political trial from 1098, revealing continuing tensions between the French conquerors and the English; the trial  uses the red-hot iron and causes King William Rufus to lose confidence in this method of justice)

Trial by Battle (as described by William Blackstone)
    (You would think that trial by battle had nothing to do with language--that, indeed, it was the antithesis of settling disputes by linguistic means.  But there turns out to be a fair amount of interesting communication going on, not only between the parties, but from God, who pronounces final judgment)

Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne vs. Artificers (Star Chamber, 1515)
    (A case involving charges of unfair competition between guilds and crafts; unlike other courts, whose records were in Latin during this period, the Star Chamber maintained most records in English from an early date)

Trial of Sarah Good (Salem witchcraft case, 1692)

Trial of Peter Hunt : Record of an indictment and conviction of murder, at the assizes (1762)
    (Notice the very formulaic and convoluted language of this document, which includes a record of the indictment, the jury being called, its verdict, and the sentence of death)

Warrant of Execution at general gaol delivery (1768)

Jury summons, Massachusetts (1777)

Admission of Robert Dobinson to practice before Court of Kings Bench (1793) (photo)

Judkins v. Marston, New Hampshire (1827)  (click here for picture of first page)
    (includes complaint for trespass, verification of the complaint, a warrant or summons, and a return of the summons by the sheriff)

A trial for theft in London's Old Bailey (1833)
    (Notice that the jury is allowed to ask questions!  For more such trials, go to the Old Bailey website--a terrific resource!)

O.J. Simpson criminal case:
   Attorney argument regarding scope of cross-examination of Detective Fuhrman
    Cross-examination of Fuhrman by F. Lee Bailey
    Jury instructions by Judge Lance Ito (full version)
    Closing arguments by Darden, Clark, Scheck, Cochran (excerpts)

Paula Jones Case Against President William Jefferson Clinton:
   Complaint   (1994)
    Affadivit of Monica Lewinsky
    Deposition testimony by Paula Jones
    Deposition testimony of President Clinton (pdf format; requires Adobe Acrobat)
    Judge Susan Webber Wright's order dismissing the case
    Judge Webber's opinion supporting dismissal
    Jones' Notice of Appeal

Impeachment proceedings against President Clinton
    Transcript of Clinton's testimony before the Grand Jury (1998)
    Link to CourtTV's website for additional documents

State of South Carolina v. Susan Vaughan Smith
    (This is the 1996 case of a woman putting two of her children in a car and pushing it or letting it drive into a lake; it includes the closing arguments, jury instructions, verdict, and judgment at the penalty phase, after the jury had already found her guilty of the crime but had to decide whether to impose the death penalty or life in prison)

An excellent link to information about, and transcripts of, some famous American trials (including the Salem witchcraft trials, Scopes trial, Rosenberg trial, etc., is