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Law of Evidence


undefined, object
copy deck
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
2. Photographs
3. Original
4. Duplicate
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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