Evidence (Witness (Opinion (Lay witness - Generally inadmissible; may be…
Lay witness - Generally inadmissible; may be admitted if no better evidence exists and is 1. based on witness's perception; 2. helpful for a clear understanding of a fact at issue, and; 3. not based on scientific, technical, or specialized knowledge.
Expert witness - 1. Subject matter is appropriate for expert opinion; 2. Witness qualifies as expert; 3. Opinion backed with reasonable certainty; 4. Opinion supported by a proper factual basis.
Character - not allowed to prove conformity with the party's character. Is allowed for motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, common plan, knowledge, identity, absence or mistake.
Impeachment - cast adverse reflection on a witness's truthfulness through cross-examination and extrinsic evidence
Competency - witness must have capacity to observe, recollect, communicate, and appreciate obligation to speak truthfully.
Privileges - 1. Attorney-client privilege; 2. Physician-patient privilege; 3. Spousal privilege
Legal Relevance - FRE 403, court has the discretion to exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice; confusion of the issue; misleading the jury; or by consideration of undue delay, cumulative evidence.
Exceptions - 1. Prior similar event; 2. Liability insurance; 3. Subsequent remedial measures; 4. Settlement offers/withdrawn guilty please.
Definition - Evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact of consequence to the action more probable than it would be without the evidence.
Direct Examination - Prosecution cannot initiate.
Cross-Examination - Party: Def. can introduce evidence of good character to help prove innocence.
Party or Witness: Impeachment.
Direct Examination - Generally not admissible. Only when character directly at issue: child custody, defamation, etc.
Cross-Examination - Party or Witness: Only for impeachment.
Declarant unavailability required - 1. Former testimony; 2. Statements against interest; 3. Dying declarations; 4. Statement of personal/family history; 5. Statement offered against party procuring declarant's unavailability.
Declarant unavailability immaterial - 1. Present state of mind/physical condition; 2. Excited utterance; 3. Present sense impressions; 4. Business records; 5. Public records; 6. Past recollection recorded.
Definition - An out of court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter
Admissible? - Hearsay is inadmissible without an exception.
Certified public documents
Acknowledged documents signed before notary (except wills)
Label, tag, or trademark on item in regular course of business
Newspapers and periodicals with reasonably wide circulation
Instruments -- negotiable and commercial paper
Sealed documents (government certified)
Official publications issued by public authority
1.Must be relevant. 2. Must be authenticated. 3. Best Evidence Rule. 4. Hearsay?