tangible evidence: A lay witness with personal knowledge of the claimed author’s handwriting may testify as to whether the document is in that person’s handwriting. The lay witness must not have become familiar with the handwriting for the purposes of litigation.
tangible evidence: best evidence rule applies only if the contents of a writing, recording, or photograph are in dispute
tangible evidence: best evidence rule does not apply to evidence that simply records day-to-day transactions (i.e. log books of employee hours)
witnesses: opinion testimony: facts/data known by an expert don't have to be admissible in a hearing if they are of a type reasonably relied upon by experts in that field
witnesses: opinion testimony: an expert opinion need not be based on firsthand observation
witnesses: opinion testimony: a doctor is not automatically an expert
witnesses: opinion testimony: situations in which lay opinions are admissible
- estimating miles per hour the speed of a moving vehicle
- general appearance or condition of a person
- the state of emotion of a person
- matters in involving sense recognition
- identifying the likeness or identity of handwriting
privileges & policy exclusions: there is no standard physician-patient privilege under the FRE
(state law provides the basis for privilege in fed courts; but unless state law mentioned in MBE, cannot apply since MBE only tests FRE)
privileges and policy exceptions: statements made in settlement negotiations inadmissible, even if statements include admissions
privileges & policy exclusions: pre-existing written documents (contracts, leases, memos, etc) do not become privileged simply by being handed over to attorney. Only privileged if prepared specifically from the client to the attorney or vice versa
right to jury trial: only if imprisonment exceeds 6 months
right to jury trial: a juror cannot testify as to any juror’s mental processes concerning a verdict.
double jeopardy: The Due Process Clause prohibits the imposition of a harsher sentence upon retrial of a defendant who successfully appeals a conviction, when the harsher sentence constitutes a penalty imposed on the defendant for the exercise of her right to appeal her conviction.