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19 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Relevance
1) Having any tendency
2) to make the existence of any fact of consequence
3) more or less probable
Fact of consequence
Substantive law in any given case that defines what facts are of consequence
More or less probable
Common sense determination based on facts and law -- SIMPLE BUT TALK ABOUT ALWAYS
Relevance compared to probative value
Relevance does not turn on degree; probative value turns on degree.
Even if relevance is relevant, court has discretion to exclude it if probative value is substantially outweighed by unfair prejudice, confusion, or waste of time.
Unfair Prejudice
Draws on emotion more than logic
Confusion
Talks to more than one legal issue
Waste of Time
Not conducive to efficiency of court proceedings
Exceptions to Relevance
(4)
1) Liability Insurance
2) Subsequent Remedial Measures
3) Settlements, offer to settle and pleas
4) Payment or offers to pay medical expenses
Liability Insurance Exception
Evidence of liability insurance is inadmissible to prove culpable conduct like negligence or defendant's ability to pay a judgment.
Limited in scope to prove negligence, but can be admitted for other reasons (ownership, control, bias).
Subsequent Remedial Measures
Evidence of safety measures or repairs after an accident is inadmissible to prove culpable conduct. In products liability cases, it is inadmissible to prove defective product design.
Can be admitted to prove control, rebut no feasible precaution defense,
Settlements, offers to settle and pleas -- CIVIL
Evidence of settlements, offers to settle, and related statements are inadmissible to prove liability or fault.
Settlements, offers to settle and pleas -- CRIMINAL
Evidence of pleas later withdrawn, offers to plea and related statements are inadmissible to prove guilt.
Includes pleas of nolo contendere.
Exception to Settlements, offers to settle and pleas
When no dispute as to liability or damages
Payments or offers to pay medical expenses
Evidence of payments or offers to pay medical expenses is inadmissible when offered to prove liability for injuries in question.
Related statements admissible.
Similar occurrences
Usually evidence is irrelevant if it is not about specific people and events in issue.
Exceptions to similar occurrences rule
Causation
If similarities to facts of present case (time, location, occurrence)
Exceptions to similar occurrences rule
(8)
1) Causation
2) Prior accidents or claims of plaintiff usually irrelevant
3)Intent
4) Rebuttal of defense of impossibility
5) Comparable Sales (to prove value of property)
6) Habit evidence (distinguish from character)
7) Routine practice
8) Industrial customs (to provide standard of care in a negligence case)
Exceptions to similar occurrences rule
Exceptions - Prior accidents or claims of plaintiff
(2)
1) Pattern of fradulent claims
2) Creation of preexisting condition
Dead Man Act

(but abolished in most states)
Party or person interested in an event (or their successor) incompetent to testify to personal transaction w/ deceased when such testimony offered against representative or successor of deceased

CIVIL CASES ONLY