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- Rule: Under the FEDERAL RULES OF EVIDENCE...
- "Hearsay is a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.
- Rule: Hearsay is inadmissible without an exception.
- Rule: A statement is not hearsay if it is an admission of a party-opponent.
- Define: An admission is a statement that amounts to an acknowledgment by one of the parties to an accuracy of one of the relevant facts.
- (FP: Here, Brent is a party. He made the statement and it is offered against him. Therefore, it is a nonhearsay party-opponent admission and admissible)
- (FP: ALSO EXCITED UTTERANCE.)
- (FP: An excited utterance is a statement relating to a startling event made while still under the stress of excitement of the event and is admissible. Here, the traffic accident is a startling event and B made the statement immediately thereafter. Therefore, it is likely to be admissible as an excited utterance exception to the general hearsay rule."
- Relevant evidence is evidence having a tendency to make the existence of a fact of consequence to the determination of the action more or less probable than it would be without the evidence. Only relevant evidence is admissible.
- Even relevant evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, misleading the jury, unduly cumulative or would cause undue delay.
Rule: Some states recognize a clergy-penitent privilege that prevents clergy from testifying as to confidential communications made to them in their capacity. HOWEVER, NO SUCH FEDERAL PRIVILEGE HAS BEEN ADOPTED.
PRIOR BAD ACTS
- Rule: Evidence of prior bad acts may not be used to prove the character of a person.
- Rule: Evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show he acted in conformity therewith.
- (FP: That Defendant previously ran stop signs 3x is evidence of past wrongs or acts. Therefore, such evidence cannot be used to prove that on the occasion at issue he also ran a stop sign.)
- Rule: EXCEPTION: This type of evidence WOULD be admissible to show motive, intent, mistake (absence thereof), identity or common scheme or plan [opportunity, preparation, knowledge]...
- (FP: No exception applies here)
Habit evidence is relevant to prove that the conduct of a person was in conformity with that habit or routine practice. Habit is one's regular response to a specific set of circumstances.
A letter a W wrote may be used to impeach her.
Rule: A W's credibility may be attacked by evidence she engaged in conduct or made statements showing bias or interest.
(FP: Here, the letter indicated E has grudge against B which shows bias and may be considered by the fact finder in assessing credibility. Therefore, admissible.)
The credibility of a W may be attacked or supported by evidence in the form of opinion or reputation as to the W's character for truthfulness or untruthfulness.
- Hearsay is a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.
- Hearsay is inadmissible.
- Some statements are excluded from the definition of hearsay (nonhearsay) and others are admissible because of an exception to the general hearsay rule.