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Rules of Evidence


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Rule 401
Definition of Relevant Evidence- any evidence tending that makes the resolution of the action more or less probable
Rule 402
Relevant Evidence is admissible
Rule 403
Exclusion of relevant evidence on the grounds of prejudice, confusion, waste of time, or cumulative
Rule 404
Character evidence is not admissible to prove conduct
What is the exception to rule 404 (character)?
Other crimes, wrongs, or acts cannot be used to prove character to show action in conformity therewith.
Rule 405
Methods of proving character
Under rule 405, what are the two ways of proving character?
a) Reputation or opinion b) specific instances of conduct
Rule 405 (a)
Reputation or opinion- Proof of character may be made by testimony in the form of reputation or opinion
Rule 405 (b)
Specific instances of conduct- Proof may be made of specific instances of one's conduct when a chracter/trait is an essential element of change, claim, or defense.
Rule 602
Lack of Personal Knowledge- A witness may not testify to a matter unless evidence is introduced to support that the witness has knowledge of that matter.
Rule 608
Evidence of character and conduct of the witness
Rule 608 (a)
Opinion and reputation evidence of a character- The credibility of a witness may be attacked or supported by evidence in the form of opinion or reputation.
What are the limitations to rule 608(a)?
1. Evidence may refer to the character only for the truthfulness or untruthfulness 2- Evidence of truthful character is admissible only when the character has been attacked.
Rule 608(b)
Specific instances of conduct- Evidence to support or attack may not be proved by extrinsic evidence.
During cross examinatino, what are the two ways specific instances of conduct may be inquired into?
1- Concerning the witness' truthfulness or untruthfulness 2- Concerning the character for the truthfulness/untruthfulness of another witness (the one the witness testified to)
Rule 701
Opinion testimony by Lay Witness- If witness is not an expert, they can only testify to: 1-Their rationally based opinion 2- If it is helpful to a clear understanding of the witness' testimony 3- Info cannot be based on scientific, technical, etc. information
Rule 702
Testimony by experts
An expert may testify in the form of an opinion if:
1- The testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data 2- The testimony is the product of reliable principles/methods 3- The witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case
Rule 703
Bases of Opinion testimony by experts
Rule 704
Opinion on Ultimate issue
Explain Ultimate Issue
Testimony that is not objectionable because it embraces an ultimate issue, the case, to be decided by the jury.
Rule 705
Disclosure of facts or data underlying expert opinion.
What are two common examples that are not hearsay? 801 d 1&2
1- Prior statement by witness 2- Admission by party opponent
What is admission by party opponent?
Anything that the party representative(s) said (in affidavit or court) can be used to prove ANYTHING.
Explain present sense impression. And which hearsay objection is it?
A statement describing an event made while the person was perceiving the event. 803(1)
Explain excited utterance, and which hearsay objection is it?
A statement relating to a startling event made while the declarant was under stress caused by the situation. 803(2)
Explain "then existing mental, emotional, or physical condition." And which hearsay objection is it?
A statement of the declarant's condition at the time. 803(3)
What are the 6 hearsay exceptions?
Present sense impression, excited utterance, then existing physical emotional or mental state, records of regularly conducted business activity, public records and reports, statements made for purposes of medical diagnosis or treatment.
Rule 803(19)
Reputation concerning personal or family history
Rule 805
Hearsay within hearsay
What are the three instances when character evidence IS admissible for conformity therewith? (404a)
1- Character of accused 2- Character of alleged victim 3- Character of witness
What are a few things that "other crimes, wrongs, or acts" go to prove? (404b)
Motive, opportunity, intent, knowledge
Give an example of evidence that would be more prejudicial than probative (403).
"Walton looked guilty." -Reagan Thomas' affidavit.

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