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University of Toledo School of Law
Steinbock, Daniel J.

I.                   INTRODUCTION
A.                  Rules
1.          FRE 101: Scope
(a)    Applies only to federal courts (including Bankruptcy)
(b)    Not states & agencies
(1)         But state rules generally parallel fed rules
2.          FRE 1101(d): Rules inapplicable
(a)    Does not apply to:
(1)         Preliminary questions of fact (FRE 104)
(2)         Grand juries
(3)         Miscellaneous proceedings
                                                                                                                           i.      Extradition
                                                                                                                         ii.      Preliminary examinations in criminal cases
                                                                                                                        iii.      Sentencing or probation
                                                                                                                       iv.      Warrants & summonses
                                                                                                                         v.      Bail proceedings
3.          FRE 102: Purpose & Construction
(a)    Secure fairness in administration
(b)    Eliminate unjustifiable expense & delay
(c)     Promote growth & development of the law of evidence
(d)    To end that truth may be ascertained & proceedings justly determined
B.                  Evidence Governs
1.          Types of things that may be considered by the factfinder
2.          Way in which the info may be communicated
3.          Roles of the judge & jury
C.                  Functions of Law of Evidence
1.          Limitations of time & place (at trial in courtroom)
2.          Party presentation (adversarial system)
3.          Public trials (confidential info – privilege)
4.          Lay factfinders (control what they hear)
5.          Need for a record (appeals only occur based on the trial record)
D.                  When FRE Don’t Answer Question
1.          Common law
2.          Constitution
E.                   Stages of a Trial
1.          Selection of jury
2.          Opening statements
(a)    Π goes first – facts that constitute crime/claim
(b)    Optional for ê (but usually gives one)
3.          Presentation of proof
(a)    Presentation
(1)         Πs direct case or case-in-chief
                                                                                                                           i.      Opportunity to show prima facie case
(2)         ês direct case or case-in-chief
                                                                                                                           i.      Defenses
(3)         Πs rebuttal case
(4)         ês rebuttal of Πs rebuttal
(b)    Proof
(1)         Witness testimony
                                                                                                                           i.      Direct examination by proponent
                                                                                                                         ii.      Cross examination by opponent
                                                                                                                        iii.      Redirect in response to cross
                                                                                                                       iv.      Recross in response to redirect
(2)         Exhibits
                                                                                                                           i.      Real evidence
a.       Tangible items involved in litigated event
                                                                                                                         ii.      Demonstrative evidence
a.       Not involved in litigated event but used to illustrate or help the jury understand the event
4.          Closing arguments
(a)    What facts the testimony & exhibits showed
(b)    How the facts fit w/ the law
(c)     How the jury should find
5.          Jury instructions
(a)    Substantive (about the law)
(b)    Instructive (guide the jury in evaluating evidence)
(1)         Cautionary
                                                                                                                           i.      Weigh w/ care b/c of risk that it’s untrustworthy
a.       E.g., accomplice testimony
(2)         Credibility of witnesses
                                                                                                                           i.      What can be considered in evaluating
(3)         Limiting instructions
                                                                                                                           i.      Limits the use of evidence
a.       FRE 105: Limited Admissibility
(i)                  Authority for a limiting instruction
(ii)                Can limit evidence by purpose or party
6.          Deliberation & verdict
F.                   Making & Preserving the Record
1.          FRE 103(a): Rulings on Evidence
(a)    Cannot complain on appeal about a ruling on evidence unless a substantial right of the party is affected; AND
(1)         Objection; OR
                                                                                                                           i.      Used when ruling is to admit evidence
a.       Timely objection (before) OR Motion to strike (after)
b.       State specific grounds if not apparent from context
                                                                                                                         ii.      Exception: plain error
(2)         Offer of proof
                                                                                                                           i.      Used when ruling is to exclude evidence
a.       Substance of the evidence made known to the court or was apparent from context & put on the record
b.       Once definitive ruling is made, it’s on the record & preserved for appeal (party doesn’t have to re-raise)
                                                                                                                         ii.      FRE 103(c): Hearing of jury
a.       To be done outside hearing of the jury to extent practicable
2.          Motions in limine
(a)    A motion before trial for a ruling as to the admissibility of evidence
(b)    Judge can wait until trial to decide
II.                RELEVANCY
A.                  Rules
1.          FRE 402: Relevant Evidence Generally Admissible
(a)    Relevant evidence is admissible
(b)    Irrelevant evidence is inadmissible
(c)     Except as provided by –
(1)         Constitution

  Subsequent to Πs event
(b)    Not admissible to prove –
(1)         Negligence
(2)         Culpable conduct
(3)         Defect in product or product design
(4)         Need for warning or instruction
(c)     Admissible for –
(1)         Other purposes, such as…. (if controverted)
                                                                                                                           i.      Ownership
                                                                                                                         ii.      Control
                                                                                                                        iii.      Feasibility of precautionary measures
                                                                                                                       iv.      Impeachment
(d)    Policy
(1)         Don’t want to discourage people from taking measures b/c of the possibility of a future lawsuit
(2)         Rejects the inference that ê learned something from the injury & now thinks it’s necessary for the remedial measure
                                                                                                                           i.      Questionable relevance
(e)    Remedial measure by 3rd party
(1)         Not barred by 407
(2)         Policy of preventing measures doesn’t apply b/c you wouldn’t discourage the ê
2.          FRE 408: Compromise & Offers to Compromise (Settlement)
(a)    ê or lawyer may be negotiating
(b)    Offers & settlements not admissible
(c)     Conduct & stmts made in compromise negotiations not admissible
(d)    Otherwise discoverable evidence is not excluded merely b/c it was presented during settlement negotiations
(e)    Other purpose evidence is not excluded, such as –
(1)         Proving bias or prejudice of a witness
(2)         Negativing a contention of undue delay
(3)         Proving an effort to obstruct a criminal investigation or prosecution
(f)      Misc issues
(1)         Rule applies even when one of the parties to the compromise is not a party to the lawsuit
(2)         Excludes evidence of a compromise only on the issues of the amount or validity of the claim that was the subject of the compromise
(3)         State can’t use settlement in civil suitby ê to show guilt in criminal case unless proving an effort to object a criminal investigation or prosecution
                                                                                                                           i.      Different standards of proof creates an additional relevancy problem
3.          FRE 409: Payment of Medical & Similar Expenses
Paying or offering to pay medical or similar expenses is not admissible