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Evidence: Goldman 2


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Relevancy and Materiality of Evidence -- What relevancy rule do we get from Knapp v. State?
That we have to know the legal isssue involved before we can see if a piece of evidence is relevant. (e.g., if the issue is self defense, was there a reasonable and subjective belief of attack?
Doctrine of Limited Admissibility (Legal Relevance) -- Rule
Just because a fact is inadmissible for one reason, doesn't mean it can't be used for another.
Doctrine of Limited Admissibility (Legal Relevance) -- Solomon's Decision:
The woman who stops Solomon from splitting the baby in half is the real mother. although the real mother's identity is inadmissible, her actions are admissible to show that she is the better mother.
Doctrine of Limited Admissibility (Legal Relevance) -- Prejudicial Effect Rule
Evidence can be excluded if prejudicial effect substantially outweighs the probative value.
California Prejudice Rule -- CEC 352:
Court, in its discretion, may exclude evidence if its probative value is SUBSTANTIALLY OUTWEIGHED by the probability that its admission will (a) necessitate undue consumption of time or (b) create substantial danger of undue prejudice, of confusing the issues, or of misleading the jury.
Federal Prejudice Rule -- FRE 403:
Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if its probative value is SUBSTANTIALLY OUTWEIGHED by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.
What is the difference between CA and Fed's Prejudice Rule?
Fed states everything CA rule does, but also includes, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.
Legal Relevancy -- An abuse of judicial discretion with regard to the Prejudice Rules (CEC 352 and FRE 403) can be overruled on appeal. How would the appellate judge do this?
By weighing the values of:
1. Assume evidence is logically relevant vs.
2. Prejudicial impact; time consuming; confuses jury; jury gives more value than deserved; or surprise the other side.
Probative Value -- In People v. Collins, a CA case, prosecutor introduced evidence by a math expert re: the probability that Ds committed the crime. Issue: Can evidence of probability be properly introduced?
No. CA Supreme Court struck down the use of statistics in this case because of two problems with the testimony:
1. It lacked an adequate foundation both in evidence and in statistical theory; and
2. It distracted the jury from its proper and requisite function of weighing the evidence on the issue of guilt.
Furthermore, the testimony was time consuming, unduly prejudicial, and confusing. It looked more probative than it really was.
Opinion -- Lay Opinion Rule
Testimony of lay person is limited to describing facts within in their personal knowledge. Testimony in the form of opinion or conclusion is inadmissible.
Opinion -- Commonwealth v. Holden. "winking" case.
Classic example of inadmissible opinion of D's mental state. W testified that D winked at him while he was being interrogated, which W interpreted as a signal to provide a phony alibi. Inadmissible opinion.
Opinion -- Exceptions to Lay Opinion Rule (Per FRE 701 & CEC 800)
FRE 701 & CEC 800 allow for broad exception so as allowing lay opinion when:
1. rationally based on perception; and
2. helpful to clear understanding.
Opinion -- US v. Schneiderman -- "Collectivizing of Facts" Lay Opinion Exception Case
Communist members testify that D appeared to act like a commie. Lay opinion allowed when no better evidence can reasonable be obtained of acts witness personally observed. Thus, allowing opinion to explain "common experience."
Expert Opinion Rule
If scientific knowledge helps explain evidence, an expert can testify in the form of an opinion.
What are the limitations on the Expert Opinion Rule?
Expert MUST have special knowledge, skill, training, education or experience; and Court has broad discretion to determine what type of skill.
What did the Congressional amendment to FRE 702 add to the Expert Opinion Rule (three things)
Experts are allowed to testify if:
1. the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
2. The testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and
3. The witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to facts of the case in reaching their conclusion or rendering their opinion.
Expert Opinion -- Trial of Jack Ruby
Expert testimony introduced to support insanity defense. Prosecutor objected on grounds that it was irrelevant unless to determine legal question of whether D knew right from wrong. But, excluding testimony would exclude data for psychiatrist opinion.
Expert Opinion -- Ingram v. McCuiston (assumed facts)
A hypo posed to an expert assumed facts that were not on the record, and were therefore inadmissible.
Expert Opinion -- Daubert v. Merrell Dow (scientific community)
Relied on old Kelly/Frye test that precluded scientific opinion unless it was generally accepted by scientific community.
Where does CA fall with regard to the Kelly/Frye scientific community rule?
It still applies it and has expanded it to all experts, whether scientific or not.
Expert Opinion -- List the factors used to judge whether scientific opinion evidence should be admissible or not.
1. Was the witness testifying about matters growing out of research they had conducted?
2. Were they justified in extrapolating the conclusions in this case?
3. Did they give enough consideration to opposing points of view in reaching their conclusion?
4. has their research or their conclusion been published?
Expert Opinion -- Lilley v. Dow Chemical
Expert witness never examined decedent, but relied on anecdotal information such as medical records and family history to reach his conclusion. Held: Testimony is inadmissible since reliance on underlying evidence was not reasonable.
Expert Opinion -- What federal rule came out of the Lilley v. Dow Chemical case?
FRE 703 -- expert witness must rely on info other experts in the field would reasonably rely on.
Scientific & Demonstrative Evidence -- Lie Detector Rule
Lie detector test is generally inadmissible under Kelly/Frye.
Scientific & Demonstrative Evidence -- State v. Valdez (lie detector case)
D convicted of narcotics possession. D stipulated to polygraph, if results would be admissible at trial. Held: polygraphs and experts are admissible upon stipulation in AZ criminal cases. But there are four qualifications of a stipulation:
1. all must sign a written stipulation;
2. subject to discretion of the judge.
3. opposing party has a right to cross-examine.
4. Jury instruction does not prove element of the crime.
Scientific & Demonstrative Evidence -- What is the Scientific Evidence Rule?
Scientific evidence must be ascertained under SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR conditions as the actual event.
Scientific & Demonstrative Evidence -- Frye Rule
Requires general acceptance in scientific community. (CA)
Scientific & Demonstrative Evidence -- Daubert Rule
Requries scientific basis of some significance (FRE)
Expert Opinion -- Reliability Rule
Even if a person is qualified as an "expert", his or her testimony must satisfy another requirement in order to be admissible. The testimony must have a certain degree of reliablity.
Expert Opinion; Reliablity -- What three cases make up the Reliability Rules?
Frye; Daubert; and Kumho.
Expert Opinion (Reliablity) -- Frye Test
Requires that the proponent of testimony based on scientific procedures show that the procedures were generally accepted in their field.
Expert Opinion -- Daubert Test
To determine the admissibility of scientific evidence, courts evaluate the validity of two separate aspects of the evidence:
1. it's scientific method; and
2. the application of that method to the factual inquiry under consideration.
Daubert Rule
Experimental or scientific testimony must be based on a principle that supports what the testimony purports to show. Also, the production of consistent results from repeatd applications of the principle is required.
Per the Daubert Rule, list the five aspects a court may look to in order to analyze an expert's theory or technique.
1. Can it be tested? And if so, has the testing taken place?
2. Has it been described in scientific publications subject to peer review?
3. What are its known or potential error rates?
4. Are there standards that can control its operation, and if so, were they used in developing the expert's testimony?
5. Has it achieved some degree of acceptance in a relevant community?
Expert Opinion -- Kumho rule
Daubert applies to all expert testimony, not just expert testimony based on science.
Similar Happenings Rule
The conditions of the prior events must be SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR to those in the case now being litigated.
Similar Happenings -- The Similar Happenings rule establishes what two possible points?
1. Liablity because evidence of a dangerous condition; and
2. That D was put on notice.
Similar Happenings -- Robitaille v. Netoco (P/woman fell down stairs at theater; wants to introduce evidence of two other women falling on stairs in the past.)
Evidence of similar happenings will not be available unless a showing that the conditions were substantially the same. This was not shown here. BUT, court here asks that the P show that the events be identical, which is a very strict holding of the rule.

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