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Evidence
University of Baltimore School of Law
Gilman, Michele E.

 
 
 
 
I.                    Trial
A.    Order of Proof
                                                              i.      Party w/ burden of proof (b.o.p.) goes first
                                                            ii.      If they can’t meet b.o.p. initially, then must move for judgment…get rid of case
                                                          iii.      Criminal case-prosecution/government goes first
Plaintiff goes first in a civil trial
                                                          iv.      Order of Evidence
1.    Ps case in chief
2.    D case in defense
3.    Ps case in rebuttal
B.    Order of Trial
                                                              i.      Pretrial motions
                                                            ii.      Calling of case- explanation of charges to D, etc.
                                                          iii.      Voir dire of prospective jurors
                                                         iv.      Opening statements
1.    Ps counsel
2.    D counsel
                                                           v.      P Case in Chief (EVIDENCE)
                                                         vi.      D Case in Defense (EVIDENCE)
                                                       vii.      P Case in Rebuttal (EVIDENCE)
1.    rebuttal evidence is restricted to an explanation of, reply to, or contradiction of new affirmative evidence presented in the case in defense
2.    court has discretion to grant Ps request to re-open the case & exceed the proper scope of rebuttal
                                                     viii.      D Case in Rejoinder (EVIDENCE)
                                                         ix.      P Surrebuttal (if any/EVIDENCE)   } diminishing returns
                                                           x.      D Surrejoineder (if any/EVIDENCE) }
                                                         xi.      (Md.- jury instructions)
                                                       xii.      Closing arguments
1.    P counsel goes first
2.    D counsel
3.    P rebuttal argument (restricted to scope of D counsel)
                                                     xiii.      (Federal court- jury instructions)
                                                    xiv.      Verdict/judgment & sentencing                                                    
C.   Scope of Direct/Redirect/Cross
                                                              i.      Diminishing returns through funnel of: Direct * Cross * Redirect * Recross…
                                                            ii.      In all jurisdictions, the scope of redirect examination is limited to the scope of cross: only the topics that were addressed on cross may be inquired into on redirect.
                                                          iii.      Recross, if any, is limited to the scope of redirect, and so forth in any subseq. exam. of W’s.
                                                         iv.      Both Md. and Fed. are “limited scope” jurisdictions
1.    Cross-examiner of a W is entitled to cross-examine in only two areas:
a.    Substantive evidence relating only to topics abt. which the direct examiner elicited from W.
b.    Impeachment of that W to detract from credibility jury may give witness testimony.
c.     Court has discretion to permit counsel to exceed the scope of direct.
D.   Rule of Completeness (Rule 106)
                                                              i.      Under common law rule, when ur opponent has brought out part of a writing/oral convo. in his examination of a W, and creates misleading impression b/c of lack of context; you can get in the necessary, related part of the writing on ur examination of the witness.
                                                            ii.      Rule 106 complements CL, provides another alternative as to writings/recordings only: If ur opponent puts in part of a writing/recorded statement, you are entitled to request the court to have ur opponent read into evidence the rest of the writings- that ought in fairness to be considered.
II.                 Objectionable Forms of Questioning
A.    Narrative Qs
                                                              i.      Asks the W to give a narrative, tell a story.
                                                            ii.      Ex. “Officer Freburger, tell the jury about ur activities in the early morning of May 1, 1984.”
B.    Asked & Answered
                                                              i.      Appropriate when counsel for one party has already asked the same W the same question, and received a responsive answer to it…but asks it again.
                                                            ii.      Ex. Q: “And that’s customary for those streets. Its 25 or 30 miles an hour, isn’t that correct, pretty much?

       ii.      When counsel is asking the W to draw a legal conclusion, to which a W can’t properly testify. (violates opinion rules 701/702).
                                                          iii.      Ex. Q: “The Chief writes back to you a week later and says tell me why you didn’t have you a uniform on, isn’t that right?” A: “Yes, sir. He-“ Q: “Cause you’re not supposed to be stopping cars without a uniform on. The Chief knew that. Isn’t that right?” Mr. Davis: “Objection to the form of the question.” Court: “Sustained.”
                                                         iv.      Such matters might be more proper for counsel to argue in closing argument.
G.   Not a Question
                                                              i.      Counsel uses the opportunity of having W on stand to simply make a statement of counsel’s own.
                                                            ii.      What counsel says is not evidence, unless confirmed by the W.
                                                          iii.      Ex. Q: “That’s not exactly what you said though.” A: “I’m sorry. What was my statement sir?” Q: “That you were calm. You never raised your voice.” Mr. Davis: “Objection to the form of the Q.” Court: “Sustained.”
H.     Objections @ Deposition/Cure by Rephrasing
                                                              i.      At deposition, obj. to the “form of the Q” must be made at the time of deposition- or are waived & can’t be made later, at trial if the deposition is offered into evidence.
                                                            ii.      Be sure to cure objection by rephrasing.
                                                          iii.      Objections based on HS or relevance are not waived.
I.         Motion to Strike on Ground that Answer Nonresponsive
                                                              i.      Only counsel who has asked the Q may move to strike the W answer, or part of.