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Evidence
Elon University School of Law
Rich, Michael L.

 
Evidence Outline
Professor Rich
Fall 2015 – Elon University
 
Table of Contents
 
Unit One:  RELEVANCE
                                            I.            Introduction to Relevance
                                          II.            Relevance (Generally)
a.       Probativeness and Materiality
b.       Conditional Relevance
c.       Probativeness v. Risk of Unfair Prejudice
                                       III.            Specialized Relevance Rules
a.       Subsequent Remedial Measures
b.       Settlement Offers
c.       Liability Insurance
d.       Pleas in Criminal Cases
                                        IV.            Character Evidence (Yellow)
a.       The Character-Propensity Box
b.       Routes around the Propensity Box
c.       Huddleston Standard
d.       Propensity Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases
e.       Proof of the Defendant’s and Victim’s Character
f.        Evidence of Habit
                                          V.            Impeachment and Character for Truthfulness (Yellow)
a.       Modes of Impeachment
b.       Impeachment by Opinion, Reputation, and Cross-Examination about Past Lies
c.       Impeachment with Past Convictions
d.       Rehabilitation
e.       Use of Extrinsic Evidence
                                        VI.            Rape Shield Law (Yellow)
a.       Historical Backdrop
b.       The Shield Law
c.       The Law in Force
 
Unit Two:  RELIABILITY
                                            I.            Competency of Witness
                                          II.            The Rule Against Hearsay
a.       Defining Hearsay
b.       Statements of Parties-Opponent
c.       Past Statements of Witnesses
d.       Hearsay Exceptions under Rule 804:  “Declarant Unavailable”
e.       Hearsay Exceptions under Rule 803:  “Availability of Declarant Inmaterial”
f.        Residual Exception
                                       III.            The Confrontation Clause
                                        IV.            Lay Opinions and Expert Testimony
a.       Lay Opinions
b.       Expert Testimony
                                          V.            Authentication, Identification, and the “Best Evidence Rule”
a.       Authentication and Identification
b.       The “Best Evidence Rule”
 
Unit Three:  PRIVILEGES
                                            I.            General Principles
                                          II.            The Lawyer-Client Privilege
UNIT ONE:  R E L E V A N C E
 
       I.            Introduction to Relevance
    II.            Relevance (Generally)
a.      Probativeness and Materiality
                                                               i.      Rule 401:  Test for Relevant Evidence
1.      Evidence is relevant if:
a.       It has any tendency to make a fact more or less probable than it would be without the evidence; and
b.      The fact is of consequence in determining the action.
                                                             ii.      Rule 402:  General Admissibility of Relevant Evidence
1.      Relevant evidence is admissible unless any of the following provides otherwise:
a.       US Constitution
b.      Federal statute
c.       These rules
d.      Other rules prescribed by the Supreme Court
2.      Irrelevant evidence is NOT admissible.
b.      Conditional Relevance
                                                               i.      Rule 104(b):  Relevance that depends on a fact
1.      When the relevance of evidence depends on whether a fact exists,
a.       proof must be introduced sufficient to support a finding that the fact does exist.
2.      Court may admit proposed evidence
a.       on the condition that the proof be introduced later.
c.      Probativeness v. Risk of Unfair Prejudice
                                                               i.      Rule 403:  Excluding relevant evidence for prejudice, confusion, waste of time, or other reasons
1.      Court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of one or more of the following:
a.       Unfair prejudice
b.      Confusing the issues
c.       Misleading the jury
d.      Undue delay
e.       Time wasting
f.        Needlessly presenting cumulative evidence
(Pneumonic:  CUM NUT, sorry.)
 III.            Specialized Relevance Rules
a.      Subsequent Remedial Measures
                                

Statements
a.       Prohibited Uses:  In a civil OR criminal case, evidence of the following is NOT admissible against the defendant who made the plea or participated in the plea discussions:
                                                                                                                                       i.      A guilty plea that was later withdrawn;
                                                                                                                                     ii.      A nolo condere plea;
                                                                                                                                   iii.      A statement made during a proceeding on either of those pleas under Federal Rule of Criinal Procedure 11 or a comparable state procedure; or
                                                                                                                                   iv.      A statement made during plea discussions with an attorney for the prosecuting authority if the discussions did not result in a guilty plea or they resulted in a later-withdrawn guilty plea.
b.      Exceptions:  The court may admit a statement described in (3) or (4):
                                                                                                                                       i.      In a proceeding where another statement made during the same plea or plea discussions has been introduced, if in fairness the statements ought to be considered together; or
                                                                                                                                     ii.      In a criminal proceeding for perjury or false statement, if the defendant made the statement under oath, on the record, and with counsel present.