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Dixon v. Providential Life Insurance Co.: Case File, Seventh Edition

  • Edward R. Stein
  • Frank D. Rothschild
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When Judge John Dixon was found on the floor of his home office with a gunshot wound to the head, there was no question of foul play. Behind the locked door of his office, Judge Dixon shot himself with favorite shotgun. The only question is, was this an accident—or suicide? Plaintiff Mary Dixon demands that Providential Life Insurance Company pay on her husband’s $1 million life insurance policy, taken out shortly before his death. Providential refuses, citing the suicide provision of the policy. The medical examiner determined the death was accidental, but Providential claims the medical examiner's conclusion was tainted by his friendship with the judge and a hasty investigation, and that Dixon's death was, in fact, a suicide. Would this seemingly happy, well-respected judge to kill himself? Was Judge Dixon the churchgoing social conservative that his public persona suggested? Did his shotgun accidentally discharge while he, an experienced hunter and gun owner, was cleaning it in a darkened room—or was he troubled by a secret that was about to be exposed and made suicide seem like his only way out? This well-balanced file challenges advocates for both the plaintiff and the defendant. Programs using it see equal numbers of verdicts for both the plaintiff and the defense. There are five witnesses for the plaintiff and four for the defendant. Dixon v. Providential Life Insurance Company has a courtroom technology focus and includes electronic evidence in the form of photographs, diagrams, documents, emails, and text messages. It includes a web link to color versions of all exhibits, the audio clip of Mary Dixon’s 911 call, and deposition video clips to use for impeachment purposes. The Seventh Edition is based on the original case file by James H. Seckinger, as updated and upgraded by Edward R. Stein and Frank D. Rothschild.
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