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The Tiger King Trial - Murder for Hire: the Prosecution of Joseph Maldonado-Passage

Total Credits: 3 including 3 General

Average Rating:
Credit Type:
General |  Practical Skills |  Trial Practice
Philip Bogdanoff, Esq.
Course Levels:
Access for 60 day(s) after purchase.


Tiger King was the number one rated show on Netflix drawing over 34 million viewers in its first 10 days.  However, the documentary reveals only part of the story.  In this interactive presentation attendees will learn the complete story of the trial of Joseph Maldonado-Passage for two counts of Murder for Hire in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1958 (a) and several misdemeanor wildlife offenses.  We will examine the trial testimony and discuss the prosecution attempts to use other acts evidence to show other attempts to solicit a hit on Carole Baskin, their attempt to protect the identity of the undercover FBI agent, and their efforts to prevent the defense from introducing evidence that someone else had committed these offenses.  Attendees will review defense attempts to dismiss the indictment, prevent the joinder of misdemeanor offenses with the murder charge, and prevent the introduction of evidence.  We will discuss the strength of the government’s case, possible defenses such as entrapment, defense strategy at trial, and the issues raised on appeal.  The goal of this seminar is to learn various criminal rules, evidentiary rules, case law, defenses, and trial strategy while reviewing this fascinating trial.  

The investigation of Joe Maldonado-Passage and pretrial maneuvers to keep evidence out of the trial.
The Tiger King documentary examined the world of exotic animals and the inherent dangers in owning exotic animals.  We will discuss the investigation that lead to the indictment of the Joseph Maldonado-Passage, how this investigation came about, and the specific indictments in this case.  Further, we will analyze the preliminary motions that were filed in this case and discuss other acts evidence pursuant to Evid. R. 404 (B), motions to dismiss, duplicity of counts, motions to protect an undercover FBI agent, and the motion for separate trials.  Attendees will learn how motions in limine are used at trial and how to preserve these issues for appeal.  

Break 1:30-1:45

1:45-3:15The trial and conviction of Joe Maldonado-Passage
In order to understand this trial it is essential that we discuss who testified at trial and how the lawyers attempted to impeach these witnesses.  Attorneys will review the prosecution and the defense strategies at trial and discuss the crimes of Murder for Hire, Complicity, Conspiracy and Attempt.  We will examine the defense of entrapment and whether it would be applicable to this trial.  Attorneys will discuss whether motive is an element of crime of Murder for Hire and whether motive was important in this case.  Finally, attendees will review the evidence and attempt to develop a defense strategy that may have changed the results of this trial.      




Philip Bogdanoff, Esq.'s Profile

Philip Bogdanoff, Esq. Related Seminars and Products

Philip Bogdanoff is a nationally recognized continuing legal education speaker on the topics of ethics, professionalism, and other related topics. Previously, as an attorney, he served as assistant prosecutor in the Summit County, Ohio Prosecutor’s Office for more than 25 years, beginning in 1981. Mr. Bogdanoff argued cases before the Ohio Ninth District Court of Appeals and twenty cases before the Ohio Supreme Court including six death penalty cases - before retiring as a senior assistant prosecutor. 
He is the author of numerous articles on ethics, professionalism and other related legal topics and has taught the members of numerous organizations including the National Association of Legal Administrators, as well as numerous state and local Bar associations, Prosecuting Attorney's Associations, and law firms. More information about Mr. Bogdanoff is available on his Web site at




Overall:      4.7

Total Reviews: 141


Judith F - Albuquerque, New Mexico

"Use of visuals at closing"

Mary Kay G - Battle Ground, Washington

"Get your point across to the jury in the first five minutes of your opening statement."

Colleen C - Salt Lake City, Utah

"better cross-examination strategies"

David S - Midland, Texas

"How to persuade client in plea bargain offers."

Amanda F - South Portland, Maine

"Focusing more on structure for presentation; adding visual aids when available."

Jordan P - Peoria, Arizona

"lots of great information on evidence and trial strategies"

Duane D - Boston, Massachusetts

"Background searching of expert witnesses."

Amanda M - winthrop, Maine

"I am not a trial attorney but I learned more today than I did in a semester of crim. law."

Sean J - Bristol, Maine

"My 3rd grade teacher first taught me the concept of being concise, and being reminded of same is valuable. "

Kevin T - Oklahoma CIty, Oklahoma

"For some reason, it never occurred to me to go through jury instructions in closing."