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Evidence Flash Cards

Evidence Flash Cards

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Determining Admissibility(4 Steps)
1.
 
Is the evidence
relevant?
 2
.
 
Is there a proper
fou
ndati
o
n
?
 a
.
 
Ex:
 
C
o
mpetent 
witness
?
 b
.
 
Ex:
 
 A
u
thenticity
of evidence
?
 3
.
 
Is the evidence the proper
fo
rm?
 4
.
 
Is the evidence beyond the application of, or within an e
x
ception to, one of the following
excl
u
si
o
nary r
u
les
?
 a
.
 
Ex:
Discretionary e
x
clusion for prejudice
?
Policy-based e
x
clusions
?
Hearsay,privilege, or parol evidence rule
?
 
R
elevance De
initi
o
n &General
R
u
le
 
De
initi
o
n
of 
 
R
elevance
E
vidence is
relevant 
if it has
any
tendency to make a material fact 
m
o
re pr
o
bable
or
less pr
o
bable
than it would be without the evidence
General
R
u
le
Relevant evidence
is admissible
.
 
Discreti
o
nary Excepti
o
n t 
o
 
R
u
le That 
R
elevant Evidence is Admissible
A
ll relevant evidence is admissible
u
nless
the court makes a
discreti
o
nary determinati
o
n
 that the probative value of the evidence is
s
u
bstantially
ou
tweighed
by pragmaticconsiderations
.
 
Six Types
of 
Pragmatic
C
o
nsiderati
o
ns
 
1.
 
Danger of unfair prejudice (Unfair)2
.
 
C
onfusion of the Issues (
C
onfusion)3
.
 
M
isleading the Jury (
C
onfusion)4
.
 
Undue Delay (Waste of time)5
.
 
Undue Delay (Waste of Time)6
.
 
Unduly
C
umulative (Waste of Time)
W
hat is
R
elevant?
 
M
u
st relate t 
o
time, event,
o
r pers
o
n in
 present 
c
o
ntr
o
versy.
G
enerally, the evidence must relate to the time, event, or person involved in the present litigation,
oth
erwise
th
e evidence is n
ot 
relevan
.
 
Excepti
o
ns t 
o
the r
u
le that relevant evidence m
u
st relate
o
 
 present 
c
o
ntr
o
versy. (8)
 
C
ertain Similar Occ
u
rrences Are
R
elevant 
1.
 
C
a
u
sati
o
n
:
 
C
omplicated issues of causation may be established by evidence concerningother times, events, or persons
.
 a
.
 
Ex
:
Damage to nearby home to show blasting caused damage to Ps home
.
 2
.
 
Pri
o
r False
C
laims
o
r Same B
o
dily Inj
u
ry
:
 
E
vidence that someone has previously filedsimilar claims is admissible to show that this claim is false
.
 3
.
 
Similar Accidences
C
a
u
sed by Same Event 
o
r
C
o
nditi
o
n
:
 
E
vidence of prior accidents orinjuries caused by same event or condition is admissible to prove the
existence
of thecondition, that D
knew
about it, and that it 
ca
u
sed
the injury
.
 
 A
bsence is generally n
ot 
 admissible
thou
 g
h
.
 4
.
 
Previ
ou
s Similar Acts t 
o
Pr
o
ve M
o
tive
o
r Intent 
:
Similar conduct may be introduced toprove partys present motive or intent when such elements are relevant 
.
 a
.
 
Ex:
History of school segregation to show motive to discriminate against minorities
.
 5
.
 
Sales
of 
Similar Pr
o
perty
:
Used to prove value
.
 6
.
 
H
abit 
:
Habit is a
regular response
to a specific set of circumstances
.
Habit is relevant toprove that the conduct of the person on a particular occasion was in conformity with that habit 
.
 a
.
 
Tip
:
Words like instinctively and automatically indicate habit 
.
 7
.
 
Ind
u
strial
o
r B
u
siness
R
ou
tine
:
 
E
vidence that a particular business had an establishedbusiness routine is relevant as tending to show that particular event occurred
.
 8
.
 
Ind
u
stry
C
u
st 
o
m as Standard
fo
r Evidence
of 
 
C
are
:
Industry custom may be offered toshow adherent to or deviance from an industry wide standard of care
.
 
 
H
abit Evidence v.
C
haracterEvidence
C
haracter
 Sally is always in a hurry
.
Bart is a drunk 
.
Jeff is a careless driver
.
Lara is very conscientious about themaintenance of her car
.
H
abit 
 Sally always takes two stairs at a time
.
Bart stops at 
C
harlies Tavern every night afterwork and has 4 beers e
x
actly
.
Jeff never slows down for the YI
E
LD sign on hisstreet 
.
Laura checks the breaks on her car everySunday before church
.
Discreti
o
nary Excl
u
si
o
n
of 
 
R
elevant Evidence
A
trial judge has
br 
o
ad discre
i
o
n
to e
x
clude relevant evidence if its
 pr 
o
ba
ive val 
u
e s
u
bs
an
ially 
out 
weig
h
s
th
e
danger of 
u
n
air prej
u
dice
,
c
o
n
fu
si
o
n
of 
iss
u
es, misleading the j
u
ry
.
 
Excl
u
si
o
n
of 
 
R
elevant Evidence
fo
r P
u
blic P
o
licy
R
eas
o
ns
 
General
R
u
le
C
ertain evidence of questionable relevance is e
x
cluded because public policyfavors the
be
h
avi
o
rs
involved
.
 
5
P
u
blic P
o
licy Excl
u
si
o
ns
of 
 
R
elevant Evidence
 
1.
 
Liability insurance
 
2
.
 
Subsequent Remedial
M
easures
 
3
.
 
Withdrawn
G
uilty Pleas or Offers to Plead
G
uilty
 
4
.
 
Settlement Offers or Negotiations
 
5
.
 
Offers to Pay or payment of 
M
edical
Ex
penses
 Liability Ins
u
rance Excl
u
si
o
n
 
INADMISSIBLE
N
o
t relevant 
fo
r the p
u
rp
o
se
of 
negligence
o
r ability t 
o
pay a j
u
dgment. ADMISSIBLE
Permissible to show
o
wners
h
ip
o
r c
o
n
o
,
impeac
h
, or as
 par 
 
of 
an admissi
o
n
.
 
y
 
Ex
:
 
E
vidence of liability policy if D claims he didnt own the land that P slipped and injuredhimself on
.
 
S
u
bseq
u
ent 
R
emedial Meas
u
reExcl
u
si
o
n
(Plus NY Distinction)
INADMISSIBLE
 
E
vidence of repairs or other precautionary measures following an injury is
n
o
t admissible
to prove liability of a claim
.
  ADMISSIBLE
To prove
o
wnership
,
c
o
ntr
o
l
, or to rebut a claim that precautions were
u
n
easible
, or to prove
destr
u
cti
o
n
of 
evidence
.
 
NY DISTIN
C
TION
:
In general, the rule for NY is the same e
x
cept 
:
 
S
R
Ms
are
admissible
in a
pr
o
d
u
cts liability s
u
it 
based upon
strict liability
for a
man
uf 
act 
u
ring de
ect 
.
 
Settlement O
ff 
ers
o
rNeg
o
tiati
o
ns Excl
u
si
o
nINADMISSIBLE
To prove liability for or invalidity of a claim that is
di 
 spute
ad to the validityand the amount 
.
 
ot 
even direc
admissi
o
ns
of 
liabili
 y
u
ring c
o
mpr 
o
mise neg
ot 
ia
i
o
ns areadmissible.
(
C
.
offers to pay medical e
x
penses which does not need a disputed claim but allowsstatement of fact)
.
 
 ADMISSIBLE
For all other purposes
.
 
Ex
:
P and a third party hit by Ds truck 
.
D settles with third party but doesnt settle with P
.
 
ann
ot 
in
o
u
ce evidence
of 
se
tt 
lemen
s beca
u
se all se
tt 
lemen
neg
ot 
ia
i
o
ns are c
o
vered by 
th
e
u
le!! 
 
W
ithdrawn G
u
ilty Pleas andO
ff 
ers t 
o
Plead G
u
iltyExcl
u
si
o
n
 
INADMISSIBLE
For nearly all purposes
.
 
 ADMISSIBLE
Not admissible
O
ff 
ers t 
o
Pay and Payment 
of 
 Medical Expenses
 
INADMISSIBLE
To prove culpable conduct 
.
But, other statements of fact made during theoffer to pay medical e
x
penses are admissible
.
 
 ADMISSIBLE
For all other purposes (
C
.
settlement offers which requires a disputed claim but e
x
cludes statements of facts)
.
 
C
haracter Evidence
C
haracter evidence may be offered as substantive evidence to
1.
 
Prove character when it is the
u
ima
e iss
u
e
of the case, or2
.
 
C
ircumstantial evidence of how a person probably acted
.
 
 
F
o
rm
of 
 
C
haracter Evidence
The purpose of the offer, and the nature of the case, or or all of the following methods of proving character may be available
:
 
1.
 
E
vidence of 
speci
ic acts
.
 2
.
 
Opini
o
n
testimony of a witness who knows the person3
.
 
Testimony as to the persons
rep
u
tati
o
n
the community
.
 
R
u
le
fo
r
C
haracter Evidence in
ivi 
 
C
asesGeneral
R
u
le
 
C
haracter evidence is not admissible in civil cases, regardless of whether it isoffered by P or D
.
 
Ex
:
 
A
P in a suit involving a car accident may not introduce evidence that the D usually is areckless driver to prove that she was negligent at the time in question, nor may D offerevidence that she is a good driver
.
 
Ex
:
Once a thief always a thief 
.
Inadmissible character evidence
.
 
Excepti
o
ns
:
 
C
haracter is directly in issue (defamation; negligent hiring)
.
 
R
u
le
fo
r
C
haracter Evidence in
imi 
nal 
C
ases
 
General
R
u
le
Generally
o
nly acc
u
sed can initiate.
The accused can introduce evidence of her good character to show her innocence of the alleged crime
.
 
H
o
w
imi 
nal 
De
endant 
C
anPr
o
ve
C
haracter
 
1.
 
W
itness
Under the federal rules, a witness for the D may testify as to the defendants good
rep
u
tati
o
n
in the community or his personal
o
pini
o
n
concerning that trait 
.
 2
.
 
D Testi
ies Directly
D d
o
es n
o
t p
u
t his character in iss
u
e merely by testi
ying
.
Heputs his
credibility
in issue
.
In these cases, the prosecution is limited to impeachment evidence rather than substantive character evidence
.
 
H
o
w Pr
o
sec
u
ti
o
n May
R
eb
u
imi 
nal 
De
endants
C
haracter Evidence
 
Prereq
u
isite
D must open the door by introducing character evidence first 
.
 
1.
 
C
r
o
ss-Examining
C
haracter
W
itness
 
C
ross e
x
amine the character witness as per thebasis of his testimony,
incl 
u
ding w 
h
e
th
er 
o
r n
ot 
 
h
e kn
o
ws
o
h
as
h
eard 
of 
speci
 f 
ic ins
ances
of 
 
th
e de
 f 
endan
t 
s misc
o
nd 
u
c
.
 a
.
 
U
se
of 
Speci
ic Acts
 Any misc
o
nd
u
ct 
, including prior arrests, may be inquiredabout while cross-e
x
amining Ds character witness
.
 i
.
 
Limit 
Limited to
inq
u
iry 
of the witness, she
may n
ot 
in
o
u
ce ex 
rinsicevidence
of misconduct 
.
Be careful to distinguish asking a characterwitness whether he is aware of prior arrests, and impeaching a witnesswith their arrests, which is improper
.
 2
.
 
Intr
o
d
u
cing Own
W
itness
P may introduce a qualified witness to testify to the Ds badreputation or give their reputations of the Ds character
.
 
Evidence
of 
Victims
C
haracterin
imi 
nal 
 
C
ases
 The D may introduce reputation or opinion evidence of a bad character trait of the allegedvictim when it is
relevan
to throw the Ds innocence
.
 Once the D has introduced evidence of the victims bad character the prosecution may
reb
u
 with evidence of the (i) the victims good character, or (ii) the defendants bad character for the
same
rai
.
 
Excepti
o
n
Rape shield rule (see ne
x
t slide)
.
 
R
ape Excepti
o
n t 
o
Intr
o
d
u
cing
C
haracter Evidence
of 
Victims
R
u
le
In any civil or criminal proceeding involving alleged se
x
ual misconduct, evidence offeredto prove the se
x
ual behavior or se
x
ual disposition of the victim is generally inadmissible
.
 
y
 
S
u
bject t 
o
excepti
o
ns (see next slide)
 
Excepti
o
ns t 
o
 
R
ape Shield
R
u
lein
C
riminal
C
ases
1.
 
S
ou
rce
of 
Physical Evidence
:
In a criminal case, a victims se
x
ual behavior is admissible toprove that someone other than the defendant is the source of semen, injury, or otherphysical evidence
.
 2
.
 
Previ
ou
s
C
o
ntact Between P and D:
A
lso, specific instances of se
x
ual behavior betweenthe victim and the accused are admissible for any reason by the prosecution and to proveconsent for the defendant 
.
 

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