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Character Evidence - Opinion Testimony
FL does NOT allow opinion testimony to prove character
In FL, evidence of a person's habit to prove a pattern of behavior is admissible TO CORROBORATE other evidence that shows the habit occurred at the relevant time but is NOT admissible as direct evidence
RELEVANCE - Habit Evidence - Spousal Abuse
Former instances of spousal abuse may be admissible when a defendant relies on battered spouse syndrome as a defense
RELEVANCE - Sex Offender Profile
FL courts have held that a pedophile/child sex offender profile is NOT admissible in a criminal trial
RELEVANCE - Public Policy Exclusions
(1) collateral source evidence, generally (2) expressions of sympathy
RELEVANCE - Public Policy Exclusions - Collateral Source Evidence
Evidence of payments from collateral sources, such as an insurance policy providing payments for medical or hospital expenses or property damages wholly independent of a defendant tortfeasor, is generally Inadmissible as a matter of public policy
RELEVANCY - Public Policy Exclusions - Expressions of Sympathy Inadmissible
In a FL civil case, that portion of a statement, writing, or benevolent gesture that expresses sympathy or a general sense of benevolence relating to the pain, suffering, or death of a person involved in an accident and made to that person or the family of that person is Inadmissible in evidence
How Defendant Proves Character
FL limits witnesses to reputation evidence to prove the defendant's character (NO opinion evidence)
How Prosecution Rebuts D's Character Evid.
Witnesses may testiofy to the defendnat's bad reputation, but they may NOT give their own opinion of the defendant's character
Character of the Victim
Cannot be proven by opinion testimony
Character of Victim - Prosecution's Rebuttal
In FL, the prosecution can rebut the defendant's bad character evidnee of the victim ONLY with reputation evidence of the victim's good character for the same trait The prosecution may NOT rebut with opinion testimony concerning the victim's good character or with any evidence concerning the defendant's bad character for the same trait
Specific Acts of Misconduct - Examples and Requirements
similar act evidence IS admissible when relevant to prove a material fact such as: Motive Opportunity Intent Preparation Plan Knowledge Identity Absence of Mistake or Accident
Specific Acts of Misconduct - REQUIREMENTS: To be admissible, similar acts must be
STRIKINGLY SIMILAR & share some UNIQUE CHARACTERISTIC or combination of characteristics SETTING them apart
Judicial Notice of Law - Mandatory (4)
court SHALL take judicial notice of: (1) decisional, constitutional,& public statutory laws / resolutions of FL Leg. & Congress of US (2) ordinances & municipal & county charters, enforcement of which is within jdx of ct (3) FL R. Ct. have statewide application, its own rules, & rules of US courts adopted by USSC (4) rules of court of USSC & US Courts of Appeal
Judicial Notice of Law - Permissive (13)
CT SHALL TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE of: (1) special, local, and private acts and resolutions of the US Congress and the FL Legislature (2) decisional, constitutional, and public statutory law of every other state, territory, and jurisdiction of the US (3) contents of Federal Register (4) laws of foreign nations & of an organization of nations (5) official actions of the legislative, executive, & judicial departments of US & of any state, territory, or jdx of US (6) records of any court of this state or court of record of US or of any state, territory, or jdx of US (7) rules of court of any court of this state or court of record of US or of any other state, territory, or jdx of US (8) provisions of all municipal, county charters & charter amendments of this state, provided they are available in printed or certified copies, (9)rules promulgated by the governmental agencies of this state which are published in FL Admin Code or in bound written copies (10) duly enacted ordinances a& resolutions of municipalities & counties located in FL, provided such are available in printed or certified copies (11) facts not subject to dispute b/c they are generally known within the territorial jdx of court (12) facts not subject to dispute because they are capable of accurate & ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned (13) official seals of governmental agencies & departments of US & of any state, territory, or jdx of US
JUDICIAL NOTICE - Notorious Facts
Facts of Common Knowledge in the Community those facts that well-informed persons generally know and accept...though usually facts of common knowledge are known everywhere, it is sufficient for judicial notice if they are known in the community where the court is sitting
JUDICIAL NOTICE - Notorious Facts - Examples
A court sitting in NYC will take judicial notice that: (1) streets in Manhattan are numbered easy and west from 5th ave and that odd numbers are on the north side of the street (2) many people are subject to low blood pressure or poor circulation (3) the ordinary period of human gestation is 280 days
JUDICIAL NOTICE - Manifest Facts
some facts, while NOT generally known and accepted, are eaily verified by resorting to easily accessible, well-established sources
JUDICIAL NOTICE - Manifest Facts - Examples
(1) judicial notice will be taken of the time of the rising or setting of the sun and moon on a particular day since this fact, although not commonly known, can be estimated quickly and accurately by reference to an almanac (2) the court will accept without proof that February 14, 1999, was a Sunday by reference to a calendar

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