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University of South Carolina School of Law
Anderson, Joseph Fletcher Jr.

(10. Jan. 07)
Federal Rules of Evidence – took effect in 1976; before that time, rules came from common law. Privileges can only be amended by Congress; the other rules can be amended w/o Congress. SC rules mirror the Federal Rules of Evidence with only a few differences.
1) “we don’t want the whole truth” – Rules of evidence keep the truth out for policy reasons; attorney-client privilege protected evidence which can’t be admissible at trial for the free enterprise of ideas; subsequent remedial measures (Rule 407) – subsequent repair is not admissible at trial in order to encourage repairs
2) “we judge the acts, not the person” – character evidence: the fact that a person is a bad person is not admissible; only the facts at issue is important. Past conduct or character is not admissible.
3) “we don’t want a three-ring circus” – focuses on one issue at hand
4) “you snooze, you lose” – if you don’t object to a piece of evidence, you won’t be able to get relief; you have waived that right; need good working knowledge of evidence rules in order to object to the evidence being submitted
1) 4 kinds of evidence:
                a) real evidence – the real thing; i.e., O.J. Simpson’s glove
                b) demonstrative evidence – not the real thing, but a recreation of the real thing, i.e.,
computer animation, model, etc. to keep the jury’s attention; reproduction of the
c) documentary evidence – paper such as contract, deed, hospital bill
d) testimonial evidence – testimony from the witness or “vive voce” usually expert
Stages of a trial –
(1) preliminary matters (typically motions regulatory of the proceedings not already ruled on in pretrial; for example, sequestration of witnesses)
(2) jury selection
(3) preliminary instructions by the judge
(4) plaintiff’s opening statement
(5) defendant’s opening statement
(6) plaintiff’s witnesses:
                a) direct
                b) cross by defendants (order usually based on appearance order in case caption)
                b) re-direct (usually limited to cross) – usually to question new matters brought by cross
examination; usually stops here
                c) re-cross (usually limited to re-direct)
                d) etc., until the judge has had enough
(7) plaintiff rests.
(8) Motion for judgment as a matter of law (only the defendant has this motion available at this point since defendant has not presented his case). (state court – motion for directed verdict)
(9) Defendant’s witness (same procedure as plaintiff, in multi-party cases, usually co-defendants would cross-exam before plaintiff following the order in which the parties are listed in the complaint)
(10) defendant rests
(11) Plaintiff’s rebuttal witnesses (usually limited to new

                            b. cases being overtried, so use time limits to make the case be tried
c. under Rules 403 and 611(a), judge can put an order limiting time for either
                D. Series of Objections (derived from the inherent authority of the trial judge to ensure a fair
                                1. calls for a narrative
                                2. non-responsive
                                3. assumes a fact not in evidence
                                4. compound question (two questions at the same time; witness answers with one
                                5. ambiguous (don’t know what’s being asked)
                                6. asked and answered (already covered)
                                7. cumulative (covered several times)
                                8. misstatement of the evidence (preamble misstates what the facts are in the case)
                                9. argumentative (lawyer becomes hostile with the witness)
                                10. badgering (lawyer intimidates the witness)