Legal Dictionary

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Alter Ego Rule

In a situation where a defendant has used deadly force to defend another person, the Alter Ego Rule requires that the defendant stand in the shoes of the person who was being defended to determine if using deadly force for defense was appropriate. For example, if Ed shot Frank while he was attacking Joe with a knife, the criminal defense attorney would argue that if Ed was standing in Joe's shoes, he would have believed that he needed to use deadly force to defend himself.