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University of Alabama School of Law
Emens, Steve

Evidence Outline
I.                  Lawsuits and Rules of Evidence
A.   Evidence rules intended to “secure fairness…to the end that the truth may be ascertained” (Rule 102)
                                                             i.      To promote an even playing field and to provide notice of the rules of the adversarial process
                                                          ii.      Help trial to proceed in a routine and predictable manner (backbone of trial)
B.   Apply in both civil and criminal cases
                                                             i.      Most of the time they are uniform, but at certain times they are tailored to assist differing function of the criminal and civil systems
                                                          ii.      Do not apply to state court proceedings
II.              Meanings and Types of “Evidence”
A.   Meanings of Evidence
                                                             i.      3 commonly used definitions:
1.    proof of a cause of action, claim or defense
a.    proof = the “stuff” offered by parties at trial
b.    offered thru exhibits
2.    the rules governing the admissibility and exclusion of proof
a.    guide how a judge conducts trial
b.    contain numerous evidentiary “foundations”
3.    the things that jurors can take back with them to the jury room
a.    intended to refer to special proof considered to be in evidence
b.    such evidence has met the requirements of the rules
B.   Types of Evidence
                                                             i.      Real
1.    physical, tangible evidence- the thing itself
                                                          ii.      Representative
1.    evidence which represents another thing- a diagram, photograph, x-ray
                                                        iii.      Testimonial
1.    comes from witnesses “viva voice” (by voice)
2.    Eyewitness Testimony—3 stages:
a.    Stage 1: Initial Memory (used to decide the credibility of a witness)
                                                                                                                                     i.      Uniqueness
                                                                                                                                  ii.      Interference
1.    Physical
2.    Psychological
                                                                                                                                iii.      Attention
                                                                                                                                iv.      Training
b.    Stage 2: Retaining Memory
                                                                                                                                     i.      Time
                                                                                                                                  ii.      Uniqueness
                                                                                                                                iii.      Contamination
1.    Rationalization (self)
2.    Interference (others)
c.     Stage 3: Recalling Memory
                                                                                                                                     i.      “environment”- get nervous in court room

ion- showing credibility of witness
E.    Closing Argument- lawyers last chance to put it all together for the jury
VI.            Rules 101 and 102
A.   Rule 101.
                                                             i.      Fact of consequence- element you have to prove
                                                          ii.      More or less probable- fairly low standard
                                                        iii.      Concept of relevancy- low standard
                                                        iv.      Evidence rules are intended to be inclusive (not to keep things out, but what is let in)
B.   Rule 103.
                                                             i.      Provides an even playing field; tells us how and when to use to rules of evidence
                                                          ii.      When must make objection make it: (important)
1.    timely- when reason for objection occurs
2.    on specific grounds- rule # or specific enough for judge to know what rule you are talking about- must give ground for objection
                                                        iii.      103(a)(2) Offer of Proof.
Appellate court can’t rule on something if it is not in the trial record. Judge must let you do this- occurs when evidence is kept out; allows you to put the evidence in record for appellate review