evidence - character.txt

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Anonymous
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227560
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evidence - character.txt
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2013-07-18 20:13:09
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ca bar evidence character
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ca bar evidence character
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  1. 4 Questions re Character Evidence?
    • 1) What is the purpose for which the evidence is offered?
    • 2) What method or technique is being used?
    • 3) Civil or Criminal Case?
    • 4) Does the evidence prove a pertinent character trait? (relevant to case)
  2. Character evidence in a civil case, when is it admissible and inadmissible? what type of character evidence?
    • 1) Character evidence is inadmissible to prove conduct (both D and P’s conduct)
    • Exception: under FRE in sexual assault/child molestation case, prior acts of sexual assault/child molestation are admissible to prove conduct in this case [not in CA]
    • 2) Admissible where character is an issue in the case (Defamation - P’s character/reputation is at issue)
    • When character is in issue, ALL methods of character evidence admissible (specific instances of conduct, opinion, reputation)
  3. Criminal Case, when is character an issue in the case?
    Character is never itself an issue in a criminal case.
  4. Criminal case, character of the defendant general rule?
    • General rule: Prosecution cannot be first to offer character evidence to prove D’s conduct
    • [Both] D can “open the door” by offering evidence of his own character. Prosecution can rebut with *pertinent* evidence.
    • CA: Prop 8 exception
  5. Criminal case, when can the prosecution be the first to admit character of the defendant?
    • 1) [Both] sex assault/child molestation prior acts
    • cases of sexual assault or child molestation, prosecution may offer evidence D committed prior acts of sexual assault/child molestation
    • 2) [FRE] same trait as victim
    • Where court has admitted evidence of victim’s character offered by D, prosecution can offer evidence that the D has the same character trait.
    • 3) [CA] domestic violence prior acts
    • Where there is a crime of domestic violence, other acts of domestic violence will be permitted
    • 4) [CA] same trait as victim, but ONLY for violence character
    • CA: Prop 8 exception, thus, this rule always applies.
  6. What methods of character evidence can be used to prove the character of the defendant?
    • [FRE]
    • DX: only reputation and opinion evidence are permitted by either party. NOT specific instances (even if door open)
    • CX: specific instances allowed by either party
    • [CA]
    • CEC does not allow specific instances on DX or CX
    • BUT: Prop 8 allows specific instances on both DX and CX, subject to balancing [prop 8 doesn’t change this]
  7. Criminal case, character of the victim general rule?
    • General Rule: trial begins with victim’s character door closed.
    • Prosecution can open the door if:
    • 1) Defendant offers evidence of victim’s character, prosecution may rebut;
    • 2) [FRE] in homicide case, if D offers evidence victim attacked first, prosecution can be first to offer evidence of victim’s character for peacefulness
  8. What methods of character evidence can be used to prove the character of the victim?
    • [FRE]
    • DX: only reputation and opinion evidence are permitted by either party. NOT specific instances (even if door open).
    • CX: specific instances allowed by either party
    • [CA]
    • CEC does not allow specific instances on DX or CX
    • BUT: Prop 8 allows specific instances on both DX and CX, subject to balancing [prop 8 doesn’t change this]
  9. What purposes can specific instances of bad conduct may be admitted for?
    • Specific instances of bad conduct may be admitted to prove anything other than character that is relevant (MIMIC)
    • All MIMIC is evidence of prior bad acts of D. And that could lead to an impermissible character inference.
    • Court has discretion to exclude MIMIC evidence for unfair prejudice.
    • MIMIC
    • 1) Motive
    • 2) Intent
    • 3) Mistake (or absence of mistake)
    • 4) Identity (modus operandi)
    • 5) Common plan or scheme
  10. Identity (modus operandi)?
    • prior specific bad acts must be linked to the present crime.
    • Elements:
    • 1) Similarity and
    • 2) uniqueness of crime
    • [essentially, same crime signature]
  11. what is a common plan or scheme?
    prior act suggests overall plan or design, or logical next step
  12. special rules for rape in a criminal case?
    • Rules limit D's use of evidence of alleged victim's character: when offered to prove consent
    • If offered to prove consent:
    • 1) Reputation and opinion evidence of V's character is inadmissible
    • 2) Specific instances of V’s conduct admissible only to prove:
    • ------a) 3rd party is source of semen or injury
    • ------b) Prior acts of consensual intercourse b/n D and alleged V
    • ------c) requires notice and in camera hearing
  13. special rules for rape in a civil case?
    • Reputation, opinion and specific instance evidence admissible if:
    • 1) Probative value substantially outweighs prejudicial effect
    • 2) Reputation, only if plaintiff (victim) put reputation in issue
    • [CA] if not admissible after rape shield statutes, Prop. 8 will not make the information admissible either
    • Exception to Prop. 8 [Prop 8 doesn’t change this]

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