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Evidence
Federal Rules
38
Law
Post-Graduate
10/17/2020

Additional Law Flashcards

 


 

Cards

Term
If evidence is admissible for one purpose, it is admissible for any and all purposes?
Definition
No; b/c of "limited admissibility". Evidence can be admitted for one purpose and not another. Ex. Insurance coverage to show CONTROL/OWNERSHIP but not to show the ability to pay or contribute to damage calculations. LOOK FOR THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE FOR WHICH EVIDENCE IS ADMITTED.
Term
Requirements for establishing relevance?
Definition
Probative of a fact that is material to the case (PROBATIVITY and MATERIALITY); Evidence is probative if it makes the existence of any fact more or less probable/likely than it would be without this evidence. Relevant evidence is admissable UNLESS it is excluded for some other reason (FRE 402). But always consider (FRE 403), which allows the exclusion of evidence whose probative value is SUBSTANTIALLY OUTWEIGHED BY A DANGER OF UNFAIR PREJUDICE or other bad effects.
Term
On what grounds may relevant evidence be excluded?
Definition
Admissable unless; falls within general "balancing" exceptions or host of specific exceptions. General balancing exceptions apples when the court determines the PROBATIVE VALUE OF THE EVIDENCE IS SUBSTANTIALLY OUTWEIGHED BY THE DANGER OF UNFAIR PREJUDICE, confusion, or misleading the jury; or becuase of undue delay, waste of time, or pres. of cumulative evidence. Relevant evidence is also excluded under a series of specific exceptions (FRE 404-415).
Term
In a jury case, who decides if the evidence is relevant?
Definition
The judge. The judge decides admissibility, the jury determines the weight/probative value of the evidence and the credibility of the witnesses.
Term
Does relevant mean admissible?
Definition
No. Could be excluded under the balancing test (FRE 403) or a specific exception. However, IRRELEVANT evidence is always inadmissible.
Term
What show does the opponent of evidence have to make to exclude otherwise relevant evidence under the general balancing test?
Definition
(FRE 403) Relevant evidence is presumed to be admissible. This rule gives the court discretion to exclude relevant evidence ONLY upon a finding that the prejudicial impact substantially outweighs its probative value. PRESUMPTION weighs heavily towards admissibility.
Term
Factors to determine prejudicial impact under 403?
Definition
Confusion, delay, appeal to prejudice, or inappro. Emotional or irrational effects that can distort accurace and integ. Of fact finding process. Also, evidence that CONFUSES the issues, like things related to tangential issues, or that is redundaant or cumulative or extends the trial's length unessarily falls within this category.
Term
Must an item of evidence be sufficient to allow a reasonable jury to conclude that at least one disputed fact is true or false for it to be deemed relevant?
Definition
No; only must make a fact MORE OR LESS LIKELY/PROBABLE that it would be without the evidence (FRE 401). Think about the "brick in the wall", must only be one brick.
Term
When you can consider "negative evidence"; like when something was NOT observed or recorded, admissable?
Definition
Only when the party seeking to enter the evidence can show the occurrence probably would have been observed or recorded if it had in fact taken place.
Term
Can the value of an item of personal property be established through evidence of the selling price of similar items?
Definition
Yes, as long as the goods are sufficiently similar and the sales sufficiently recent. Only applies to actual SELLING prices, not asking prices or offers to buy.
Term
At trial, P is trying to prove D's negligence. When can evidence of other unrelated injuries or accidents (similar happenings) caused by the same D be admissable?
Definition
- Only where the factual circumstances surrounding the two events are substantially similar so that the factfinder is justified in believing that the occurrence INCREASES the likelyhood that the D caused this occurrence too. THE SIMILARITY is key. (Consider, Doctrine/Rule of 3's).
Term
The murdered body of Jimmy Hoffa is found. Police discover in pre-K Hoffa stole Sparky's cookie and when Sparky discovered the theft, he said "I'm going to kill you!". Pros. seeks to introduce the pre-K threat. D objects. How should the court rule?
Definition
Irrelevant, evidence should be excluded.
- "Remoteness in time" objection; the threat was made SO long ago, it doesn't make it more or less likely that Sparky killed Hoffa. If it was more recent, more likely to be admitted.
Term
Are admissions in conjunction w/offers to settle the same as admissions in conjunction with offers to pay medical bills?
Definition
- No. Exclusion for settlement offers (FRE 408) is broader. Excludes NOT JUST the offer to settle, but any conduct or statements made during negotiations; and covers even "collateral statements."
- Offer to pay medical bills (FRE 409) is inadmissible to prove L for the injury, but collateral statements ARE admissable.
Term
Salome is on trial for masterminding the Murder of John the Baptist. The P seeks to enter John's severed head to show how he was killed. The defense objects because it is so gruesome that it will unfairly prejudice the jury. The D offers to stipulate that John is dead and that he was beheaded. No other fact will be advanced by admission of the head. Should the court sustain the D's objection?
Definition
Yes, probably. It's relevant b/c it's probative on two issues; John's death and how he died. The head is relevant but you have to apply the FRE 403 balancing test. The judge will likely determine the gruesome head's probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.
Term
Oedipus Wrecks is charged w/murdering his mother. At trial, the P seeks to introduce six photos of the deceased showing her mutilated body/face, each which was taken from a slightly different angle. Will the P succeed in getting these photo's admitted?
Definition
No. The photos are certainly relevant, but the admission of ALL OF THEM is likely so inflammatory that it fails the 403 balancing test. Could be seen as unfairly prejudicial OR because the evidence is cumulative/time wasting. ONE, or even a FEW photo's could probably be admitted.
Term
To impeach WD's witness, Evil Stepmother, Snow White plans to introduce the testimony of 7 witnesses who will testify Evil Stepmother has a rep. for untruthfulness. On what grounds can some of the witnesses be excluded.
Definition
By using the general balancing test (FRE-403), you could use "wasting time" or "needlessly presented cumulative evidence."; SEVEN is a lot; you could say it's cumulative or all together wastes too much time.
Term
Trespass trial, JP claims the reason he hung a wire between two buildings is that a monster was chasing him. Watchman Willy, the security guard for the buildings, proposes to testify for P that there was no monster. Willy will explain that he was on duty at the time and would have noticed any monster. Will this "did not observe" observation be admissable.
Definition
Yes, if and only if the proponent of Willy's testimony can show that Willy probably would have observed the monster had one actually been there. This is NEGATIVE EVIDENCE, and courts are fairly strict about this.
Term
Cinderella cuts her foot on a glass slipper shard at the FG Shoemart. C sues the Shoemart for negligence in failing to discover and remedy the danger. The Shoemart maintains the slipper must have fallen a min. or two before the injury and therefore they did not have sufficient notice. C wants to testify she was in the store for 45 min before the injury and did not hear the glass shatter. What facts does she have to establish before her testimony may be admitted?
Definition
She must show that had the glass shattered when she was in the store, she PROBABLY WOULD HAVE HEARD IT. (Ex. that the store was small, that there was no music or a crowd, that she had normal hearing).
Term
Capt. Hook loses his hand in a food processor from Mayhemart as he is feeding carrot sticks into it. Hook sues Mayhemart for defective design. In support of their argument, the company offers proof that 250K units have been sold, and the company has never received a complaint. When can this "never received a complaint" evidence be admissable?
Definition
The absence of similar complains can be admissable if they establish 1) the circumstances/how the other customers used the products are substantially similar and that 2) They would have gotten a complaint if a similar accident had happened.
Term
Fed. Law makes it a crime to smuggle controlled substances, which includes marijuana. Dangerous is not an element of the crime. In the Potheads drug-smuggling trial, the P wants to introduce evidence that marijuana causes psychosis in mice. D wants to keep the evidence out. How can they do that?
Definition
Object b/c the evidence is irrelevant. It does not matter or makes it more or less likely that PH smuggled marijuana because it causes psychosis in mice.
Term
HD is injured when he drives his car into a tree. He sues the car company for defective design. The company claims that the design was adequate and that HD was contributorily negligent. The company offers the testimony of Tommy Peaker who claims he saw HD driving VERY FAST on the freeway. HD objects.
Definition
Sustain the objection. HD's speed on the freeway is not probative or his speed on the residential road; the two circumstances are not SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR. Therefore, the testimony is ireelevant.
Term
May the fact that a D has insurance be admitted into evidence for the P to show that the D is more likely to behave negligently?
Definition
No (FRE 411). Evidence that a person was, or was not insurance is NOT ADMISSABLE to prove if the person acted negligently. Remember, it can be introduced for other reasons; like to show that something was under the agency, ownership, or control of a party.
Term
BH drives his chariot so negligently that it crashed into a crowd of people, hurting them. In one suit that follows; BH takes the stand in his own defense and tells the jury, "I'm not insured against this". Is his testimony that he has NO insurance barred?
Definition
Yes, even a lack of insurance may not be raised by the defense unless it is directly relevant. You could argue that he's not saying it to disprove L though, but for the purposes of damages, but generally, this is not allowed either b/c it would induce juries to decide cases on improper grounds.
Term
BG drives a truck for Ashe Hauling Co. The truck, driven by BG sideswipes MM, who is injured. At MM trial against Ashe, the president claims BG is an independent K, not an employee. M then asks if Buddy is covered by Ashe's L insurance. Ashe objects. Should the courts sustain?
Definition
No, the evidence of the L insurance is admissible here. You can't admit insurance to prove negligence (FRE 411) but you can admit it to PROVE AGENCY, OWNERSHIP, OR CONTROL. The fact that BG is covered by insurance tenst to establish that Ashe controlled or is in agency w/BG, which would go to Ashe's negligence under respondeat superior.
Term
Pieces of an orbiting space lab fall to earth in the Aus. Outback. Aus. seeks damages for negligence from the U.S., who denies owning the spacecraft. To prove ownership, Austria wants to enter evidence of insurance payments make to Brotherhood Insurance for L insurance on the spacecraft? Will that be allowed?
Definition
The evidence is admissible because the insurance payments show ownership, not L. Although evidence of L insurance is inadmissible to prove negligence or L, it is admissible to prove ownership, agency or control (FRE 411). Here, the fact that it is insured goes to establish the U.S's ownership and control of the spacecraft. The judge will likely issue a limiting instruction directing the jury to not consider insurance payments on the issue of negligence.
Term
AH is driving a car that hits AB, a pedestrian. AB sues AH for negligence. At trail, JH testifies for the D. During prelim. questioning on direct, Hancock testifies that he works for the Prov. Insurance Co. Later, he testifies that he saw AB dart out in front of AH's car. During cross, AB's attn. asks if it's true that his company proves insurance to AH. AH's lawyer objects under FRE 411 grounds. What is AB's attorney's best argument for overruling the objection.
Definition
That an affirmative answer would prove BIAS on the part of the witness. Although evidence of insurance is inadmissable to prove negligence (FRE 411), such evidence may be admitted for a  purpose other than negligence, like to "prove a witness's bias". A P can generally impeach a D's witness by showing, or attempting to show, bias.  Here, the fact that the insurance co. covers AH and would have to pay out in a claim would tend to show JH's bias. Therefore, the Q and A are admissible.
Term
The RB crashes his stunt plane into O'Leary's barn, making a hold. Baron doesn't get hurt and tell O'Leary, "Have no fear, my insurance company will take care the hole I put in your barn". O'Leary sues RB for negligence, RB defends on the fact that the hole was there before the crash. To rebut, O'Leary wants to use RB's statement, RB objects. How should the court rule?
Definition
The court should overrule the objection. It would obviously be best if the statement could be made without the insurance piece (the rest would be admissible as an "admission"). But, where an admissible statement and an insurance statement are SO INTERTWINED that they can't be meaningfully seperated, the court has discretion to allow in the whole statement. To decide, you look at the whole statement to see if it would MAKE SENSE without the insurance piece. Here, it would be tough to get it to make sense. The judge will probably also give a limiting instruction on the insurance piece.
Term
The 2LF Dance Studio polishes its floors with S and S floor polish, a high-gloss, slippery wax. TT, slips and falls in a class. She sues the studio, alleging lack of floor maintenance. As proof that the studio was negligent in its choice of floor wax, TT offers evidence they switched to a different floor was a week after her accident. Admissible?
Definition
No, this is a "subsequent remedial measure" and is inadmissible to prove negligence, culpable conduct, a product defect, or the like (FRE 407). But, they can be used to show "ownership, control or the feasibility of precautionary measures" or to impeach a witness.
Term
PA breaks his leg after stepping into a hole on the boundary between Hatfield and McCoy properties. PA sues Hatfield for negligence. Hatfield denies the hold was on his property. Perry seeks to introduce evidence that the day after the fall, Hatfield filled the hole. Should this be admitted?
Definition
Yes, it's admissible to prove ownership and control. The general rule is that subsequent measures are not admissible to prove negligence but the court CAN admit for another purpose; such as proving ownership or control (FRE 407). Here, the evidence can be offered to show ownership of the property containing the hole.
Term
CH cuts off his hand at his employer's, COD Metal Works. Hook brings a negligence action against COD. Hook's theory is that COD was negligent for not installing a safety guard. Hook offers testimony that the day after the accident, COD placed safety guards on every saw. COD objects. How should the court rule?
Definition
Sustain the objection. This is a subsequent remedial measure and is not admissible to prove negligence, which CH is trying to do here. We want to encourage people to make things safer!
Term
When MC stays at a hotel, a piece of the ceiling falls down on her head. She brings a tort suit, alleging that 1) the ceiling was cracked one month before the accident, 2) re-plastering the ceiling would have prevented or or delayed the accident and 3) due care requires a motel owner to re- plaster at frequent intervals. Norman testifies it would have been prohibitively expensive and would not have made it materially safer. MC calls a painting contractor who proposes to testify that one week after the accident, Normal asked him to replaster at a cost of less than 1K. Norman objects to the testimony. Is it allowed?
Definition
Yes, because it falls under "other purposes", meaning the court can admit for "the feasibility of precautionary measures". That's what MH is trying to do; show that re-plastering is not prohibitively expensive and useless like Norman said.
Term
Cinderella buys glass slippers from Kenneth Coleslaw Corp. The heels are thin and made of glass and 5 inches high. While wearing them, they snap and she falls. She brings a SL product liability suit against KC alleging the design of the shoe is dangerous. She offers that two days after she notified KC of her injury, KC changed the design to acrylic. She offers this to prove KC knew they were unsafe. KC objects. How should the court rule?
Definition
Sustain the objection. Evidence of subsequent remedial measures is inadmissible prove NOT ONLY negligence, but other "culpable conduct" including "a defect in a product or its design" (FRE 407).  C is trying to say the design was defective b/c they changed it after she was injured, which is specifically prohibited.
Term
Every time Batman hits a pothole his car ejects his passenger, BW out of the 2009 Batmobile. He sues Batco in SL for the design of the car. Batman asserts that in order for the design to NOT BE DEFECTIVE, the manufacturer must guard against inadvertent ejections. Batco says the seat is not "unreasonably dangerous" so Batman can't recover under PL. BM offers evidence that the safer design was feasible by offering evidence the 2010 Batmobile would only eject by pushing a secret button.
Definition
Sustain objection, cannot allow it in under subsequent remedial measures to prove a defect in a product or design. They are NOT DISPUTING the feasibility of precautionary measures here, they are just saying that the 2009 design was not unreasonably dangerous, so it fails b/c it's NOT DISPUTED and the rule says, IF DISPUTED.
Term
H, D, L are pheasant shooting from a boat in a lake. Quacko drives his jet-ski into them. All three sue Q, but H and D settle and agree to testify against Loopie in his suit against Q if the suit goes to trial.H's testimony that "I was watching Q, but as far as I could tell Q drove slowly and carefully but a wave swept his jet-ski into our boat". L seeks to show on cross that Q settled in return for his testimony. Is this testimony allowed under the rule prohibiting proof of settlements on the issue of L?
Definition
This testimony is allowed ONLY for the limited purpose of showing bias on the part of H and D, not to prove Q's liability for the incident. When the validity or amount of a claim is at issue, evidence someone paid or received valuable consid. in compromising or attempting to compromise the claim is NOT admissible (FRE 408). But, there is always an exception for "another purpose" and here its to prove the witness's bias/trying to impeach H's credibility.
Term
AF, pop singer, was running late. He darted across the street in front of a pink Cadillac. The Driver, BS, swerved to avoid hitting AF and hit him. AF lay in the middle of the road, BS jumped out and said, "I'm sorry, I'm a big fan. I will be happy to compensate you for any income you use until you are back on your feet." Is this statement excusable under the rule prohibiting offers of settlement?
Definition
No. It only excludes an offer to compromise a "disputed claim" (FRE 408). So, for this rule to come into play, the statements or conduct must be in the context of a disputed claim. The most obvious is when a suit has already been filed, but that's not required; it could be when some party has taken some other act to assert a claim, such as asserting a written or oral claim. Here, though, since the offer was right after the accident, FRE 408 would not be a basis for excluding this statement.
Term
FR was angry with Eleanor. She had been making fun of him a lot, so he decided he was going to get even. He gave her dog pills that made Fala drop into a deep sleep that resembled death. When Eleanor found he she became hysterical. She sued under IID. After he was served with process, he told her he was prepared to pay 500 dollars if she would dismiss b/c even though he realized what he did was wrong, he loves her and wants to make things right. How should the court rule on the introduction of the statement?
Definition
There is clearly a disputed claim because the suit was filed, and the statement was made after that. Additionally, the ENTIRE statement falls within the exclusion, including his statement after the offer as this is a very broad exclusionary rule.
Term
After Dr. Mel accidentally amputates LJS's leg while removing a splinter the doctor offers to pay for the cost of the prosthetic leg that he will need and makes the payment. When LJ brings a malpractice action against Dr. Mel, can he introduce the fact that Mel offered to pay and did pay for the leg as proof Dr. Mel was L for the loss of his leg?
Definition
No. Evidence of promising to pay for medical, hospital, or similar expenses resulting from an injry is NOT ADMISSIBLE to prove L for the injury (FRE 409). This is b/c these offers are likely motivated by compassion rather than a sense of culpability and we want people to act on their humanitarian impulses.
Term
D.B. Cooper is thought to have hijacked a plan and gotten ransom in small, unmarked bills, then skydived to freedom with the ransom. Some time later, a woman names RP brings suit against DC who she asserts is the hijacker/skydiver. She proposes to testify that around the time the skydive is known to have occurred, she was walking her dog on a mountain road when a man jumped in front of her from the sky causing her to trip. She also proposes to testify the man said "I'll pay your medical bills if you forget about this whole thing". When she hesitated, he ran away. Dan objects to the "pay your medical bills" statement. RR offers to redact to say "I'll pay you for your injuries using small unmarked bills." Is this revision admissible?
Definition
Yes, unlike 408/409 does not bar collateral admissions made in conjunction with a offer to pay medical bills statement. Therefore, the proposed redacted statement which refers just to compensation and makes no ref. to medical expenses is NOT barred.
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