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18 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
What is the difference between direct and circumstantial evidence?
Direct Evidence relies on Actual Knowledge while Circumstantial Evidence relies on Inference.
What is "Direct Evidence"?
Evidence that goes directly to a material issue without intervention of an inferential process. Evidence is direct when the very facts in dispute are communicated by those who have actual knowledge by means of their senses.
EX: On the issue of whether anyone had recently crossed a snow-covered bridge, the testimony of a witness that he saw a man crossing would be direct evidence.
What is "Circumstantial Evidence"?
Evidence that is indirect and relies on inference. It is evidence of a subsidiary or collateral fact from whcih, alone or in conjunction with a cluster of other facts, the existence of the material issue can be inferred.
EX: On the issue of whether anyone had recently crossed a snow-covered bridge, the testimony of a witness that he saw human footprints in the snow on the bridge would be circumstantial evidence.
What is Testimonial Evidence?
Oral evidence given under oath. The witness responds to the questions of the attorneys.
What is Documentary Evidence?
Evidence in the form of a writing, such as a contract or a confession.
What is Real Evidence?
Evidence consisting of things as distinguished from assertions of witnesses about things. Real evidence includes anything conveying a firsthand impression to the trier of fact, such as knives, jewelry, maps, or tape recordings.
In what two situations would relevant evidence be deemed inadmissible per the Doctrine of Limited Admissibility?
1. Admissible for One Purpose but not Another.
2. Admissible Against One Party But Not Another.
What is a jury limiting instruction?
When evidence that is admisible as to one party or for one purpose but is not admissible as to another party or for another purpose is admitted, the court must, upon request, restrict the evidence to its proper scope and instruct the jury accordingly.
What is the general rule of limited admissibility?
If evidence is admissible for one purpose, it is not excluded merely because of the danger that the jury may also consider it for another incompetent purpose. However, the court must, upon request, restrict the scope of the evidence and instruct the jury accordingly.
What does Competence mean with regard to Evidence?
Evidence is Competent if it does not violate an exclusionary rule. Thus, if evidence is material and relevant, the only reason such evidence would not be admitted is if it is prohibited by a special exclusionary rule of evidence.
Exclusionary rules that prevent admissibility of relevant and material evidence are founded upon what two types of policies?
1. Policies Related to Truth Seeking -- i.e., the need to ensure the reliability and authenticity of evidence.
EX: Hearsay rule; Best Evidence Rule.
2. Policies External to Litigation -- i.e., the need to protect extrajudicial interests of society.
EX: Rules granting testimonial privileges admittedly hamper the in-court search for truth.
What are the Two Threshold Admissibility Issues?
1. Materiality: The Proposition to be Proved.
2. Relevance: Probativeness -- The Link Between Proof and Proposition.
What is Materiality with regard to Evidence?
Materiality exists when the proferred evidence relates to one of the substantive legal issues in the case.
What is Relevance/Probativeness with regard to Evidence?
Probative evidence contributes to proving or disproving a material issue.
What is a Key Question to ask when determing whether evidence is probative?
Assuming that the issue the evidence is offered to prove is a material one, is the evidence logically probative of that issue? does the evidence tend to prove that issue? Does the evidence tend to make the material proposition (issue) more probably true or untrue than it would be without the evidence?
What are Two Key Questions to Ask when determining wheter evidene is material/logically relevant?
What issue is the evidence offered to prove? Is that legal issue material to the substantive cause of action or defense in the case?
Give an example of immaterial evidence.
In a workers' compensation case, evidence of the claimant's contributory negligence would be immaterial since the workers' compensation statute abrogates it as a defense.
Give an example of insufficiently probative evidence.
Evidence that the D drove recklessly on a prior occasion is material because it speaks to the question of his negligence. However, it is not sufficiently probative of the issue of negligence on this particular occasion, and is therefore not relevant.