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University of North Carolina School of Law
Blakey, G. Robert



· Original drafted by a committee under the Rules Enabling Act.
· SCOTUS “promulgated” the rules.
· Congress has the power under the REA to reject the rules at that point.
· Congress drafted its rules based on SCOTUS’ rules, that were enacted.



FED.R.EVID. 401 Definition of “Relevant Evidence”
· “Relevant Evidence” means evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence.

FED.R.EVID. 402 Relevant Evidence Generally Admissible; Irrelevant Evidence Inadmissible
· All relevant evidence is admissible, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution of the United States, by Act of Congress, by these rules, or by other rules prescribed by the Supreme Court pursuant to statutory authority. Evidence which is not relevant is not admissible.

FED.R.EVID. 403 Exclusion of Relevant Evidence on Grounds of Prejudice, Confusion, or Waste of Time
· Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.

State v Kostimpulus
· Purpose for offering the evidence was to suggest the possibility that the pork loins were planted in D’s car (raising reasonable doubt to his guilt) by Carver (who threatened D about losing his job).
· Justice excluded testimony because a) it was not relevant (402); b) the danger of confusing the jury outweighed the probative value of the evidence (403)
· Never evidence that Carver participated in surveillance, or evidence that Carter had an opportunity to plant the loins.

State v Nicholas
· Lady raped twice 6 months apart by what she believes to be the same person
· Police dog tracks down Nicholas
· Laboratory tests: blood quantities were insufficient to type; vaginal smear contained sperm but Ms. S could not recall is he ejaculated; acid phosphate test showed positive for a type O secretor, which Ms. S was, meaning that rapist was a type O or non-secretor. Evidence showed that N was a type A non secretor which did not rule him out.
· N says that the testimony (secretor results) was prejudicial and irrelevant and should be excluded based on the P v Sturdivant case (Admissibility of Medical Test Results).
· The results of the Acid phosphate and secretor tests tended to so

s relevance

Simon v Kennebunkport (court discretion… appellate courts give trial courts a considerable amount of discretion)
Simon falls and breaks hip on sidewalk in Kennebunkport (proximately caused by the design or construction of the sidewalk)
· Simon contends that not allowing evidence that established the defective condition of the sidewalk which in the past two years the same had occurred to many other people.
· ME courts say that allowing evidence from witnesses tends to draw the minds of the jury away
· The admission of other accident evidence is committed to the sound discretion of the presiding Justice.
· 401 requires the presiding Justice to determine the relevancy of the evidence on the basis of whether there is a substantially similarity in the operative circumstances between the proffer and the case at bar and whether the evidence is probative on a material issue in the case. He must then consider whether the probative value of such evidence is substantially outweighed by the countervailing considerations of 403.