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According to Our HeartsRhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family$
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Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300166828

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300166828.001.0001

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Openings and a Closing: Shutting the Door on Reconciliation

Openings and a Closing: Shutting the Door on Reconciliation

(p.40) 2 Openings and a Closing: Shutting the Door on Reconciliation
According to Our Hearts

Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Yale University Press

In the opening statements of the Rhinelander trial, both plaintiff and defendant counsel employed bold moves in making their case clear. Leonard's lawyer, Isaac Mills, employed a damaging tactic that ensured that the Rhinelanders would never get reunited again: as he used personal attacks against Alice Rhinelander's family and her person, with claimed that she had numerous sexual relations with other men prior to Leonard, and her mother, Elizabeth Jones, gave birth to a white child from a white man in England. Alice's defendant, Lee Parsons Davis, countered by promising to prove that it was Leonard's father who was behind the lawsuit, in order to protect his family line, which he considers to be an ancient name that can be traced back to the Huguenots. These statements by both the plaintiff and the defendant shaped the general strategies that the two sides employed in the course of the Rhinelander case.

Keywords:   opening statements, Rhinelander case, strategies, Lee Parsons Davis, Isaac Mills

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