Glossary of Law of Evidence
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- Tangible Evidence
- Non-testimonial evidence that an be touched or perceived by the senses; real evidence
-before admissable in court, the judgemust be satisfied that the evidence is what the proponent claims
- The introduction of evidence that proves a document or object is what it appears to be
- pretrial conference
- A meeting with the trial judge and the parties to a lawsuit before the trial begins. Its purpose is to define the matters at issue and in need of resolution at trail
- Rule 901
- Requirement of Authentication or identification.
(a) general provision, the requirement of authentication or identification as a condition precedent to admissibility is satisfied by evidence sufficient to support a finding thta the matter in question is what its proponent claims.
(b) Illustrations. By way of illustration only, and not by way of limitation, the following are examples of authentication or identification conforming with the requirements of this rule:
1. Testimony of witness with knowledge
2. Nonexpert opinion on handwriting
3. Comparison by trier or expert witness
4. distinctive characteristics and the like
5. Voice identification
6. Telephone conversations
7. Public records or reports
8. Ancient documents or data compilation
9. Process or system
10. Methods provided by statute or rule
- Chain of Custody
- The written record that establishes the location of physical evidence from the time it is collected until the time it is offered as evidence at trial
- Authenticated specimen
- A writing opposing parties agree is in fact written by a particular person; usually done by stipulation
-pursuant to rule 901(b)(3)
- Rule 902
- Self Authenticating documents.
The document alone is admissible without the testimony of a sponsoring witness when the document meets requirements that make it self authenticating.
Extrinsic evidence of authenticity as a condition precedent to admissibility is not required with respect to the following:
1. Domestic pulic documents under seal.
2. Domestic public documents not under seal.
3. Foreign public documents.
4. Certified copies of public records
5. Official publications
6. Newspapers and periodicals
7. Trade inscriptions and the like
8. Aknowledged documents
9. Commercial paper and related documents
10. Presumptions under Acts of Congress
- Aknowledged documents
- Documents signed in the presence of a notary public, where the signing pary declares the act of signing as the party's own, and the notary public attaaches a formal statement acknowledgeing the party's act
- Attesting clause
- A written statement acknowledging the witnessing of the signing of a document as well as the signing of the statement
-attesting witnesses need not be called to testify to the authenticity of the will
- Rule 903
- The testimony of a subscribing witness is not necessary to authenticate a writing unless required by the laws of the jurisdiction whose laws govern the validity of the writing
- Rule 104
- Preliminary questions
- Conditional relevance
- Evidince not directly tied to a claim, charge, or defense is relevant only if subsequent testimony or tangible evidence ties the evidence to the claim, charge, or defense
- Rule 1002
- Requirement of original
To prove the content of a writing, recording, or photograph, the original writing, recording, or photograph is required, except as otherwise provided in these rules or by Act of Congress
- Not copied or derived.
The original document rule means a proponent of the writing, recording, or photograph must use an original at trial, not a copy
purpose of the original document rule is to prevent inaccuracy and fraud when an attempt is being made to prove the contents of a recording, writing, or photograph
- Rule 1001
The following definitions are applicable:
1. Writings and recordings
- Reproduction of an original that is exactly the same as the original
- Reproduction of an original that is an imitation and may not be exactly the same as the original
- Rule 1003
- Admissibility of Duplicates.
A duplicate is admissible to the same extent as an original unless(1) a genuine question is raised as to the authenticity of the original or (2) in the circumstances it would be unfair to admit the duplicate in lieu of the original
- Rule 1004
- Admissibility of Other Evidence of Contents.
The original is not required, and other evidence of the contents of a writing, recording, or photograph is admissible if:
1. Originals lost or destroyed
2. Original not obtainable
3. Original in possession of opponent
4. Collateral matters
If a writing, recording, or photograph is not essential to an issue in the case, then an original is not required
- Rule 1005
- Public Records.
- Rule 1006
- Rule 1007
- Testimony or written admission of party.
contents of writings, recordings, or photographs may be proved by the testimony or deposition of the party against whom offered or by that party's written admission, without accounting for the nonproduction of the original
- Rule 1008
- Functions of Court and Jury.
The judge generally determines whether an original is lost, destroyed, or not obtainable.
The judge also decides whether the writing, recording, or photograph is an issue in a case or a collateral matter
3 circumstances in which the matter should be left to the jurys determination.
1. whether writing existed
2. whether it is original
3. whether secondary evidence of the unavailable writing correctly reflects its content
- Something tangible used or offered into evidence at trial, in a deposition, or at a hearing
- Rule of 615
- Exclusion of Witnesses
- keeping witnesses out of the courtroom during a trial
- sequestration of witnesses
- keeping witnesses out of the courtroom during trial
- Rule 601
- General rule of competency
- competent witness
- A person legally qualified to testify at trial
- in contract law, the mental ability to enter into a contract
- Rule 603
- Oath or affirmation
- Dead Mans statutes
- Persons who have a claim in a civil suit against a dead person's representative, where there are things to which the dead person might have testified, are not competent to testify.
- Judge determines competency
- trial court judge determines whether a witness is competent when a motion is made to disqualify a witness from testifying
- Rule 602
- Lack of Personal knowledge
Judge determines whether the proponent of the testimony establishes the witness's personal knowledge
- Rule 604
- Expert witness
- A witness who possesses special knowledge, training, or experience and whose testimony at trial includes an opinion
- Rule 605
- Competency of judge as witness
The judge presiding at the trial may not testify in that trial as a witness. No objection need be made in order to preserve the point
a judge cannot provide evidence for either party in a lawsuit, including the gathering of evidence sua sponte
- Sua Sponte
- The judge acts on his or her own, without the parties making a request
- Rule 606
- competency of Juror as witness
- Rule 614
- Calling and interrogation of witnesses by court
- Rule 611
- Mode and order of interrogation and presentation
- hostile witness
- a witness who shows so much hostility to the calling party that the witness can be treated as if called by the opposing party
- demonstrate a witness is not telling the truth
- Rule 607
- Who may impeach.
The credibility of a witness may be attacked by a party, including the party calling the witness
- Rule 610
- Religous Beliefs of Opinions
- Rule 608
- Evidence of Character and Conduct of Witness
- Rule 609
- Impeachment by evidence of conviction of crime
- Rule 613
- prior statement of witnesses
- Rule 612
- Writing used to refresh memory.
- Lay witness
- A non-professional witness whose testimony at trial includes an opinion
- Rule 701
- Opinion Testimony by Lay Witness.
if non expert, testimony limited to answers in the form of opinions or inferences
- Rule 704
- Opinion on Ultimate Issue.
- Rule 702
- Testimony by experts.
Experts can use scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge if it will assist in there opinion
- Rule 703
- Bases of Opinion Testimony by Experts.
The facts by which an expert bases an opinion or inference may be those percieved by the expert at or before the hearing.
- Rule 705
- Disclosure of Facts or Data Underlying Expert Opinions
Experts may testify in opinions and inferences and give reasons without first testifying to the underlying facts.
- Mens rea
- The mental state necessary to the commission of a crime
- Exculpatory evidence
- evidence that tends to prove someone is free from blame
- per se
- in and of itself
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