Evidence Flashcards Preview

Georgia Distinctions > Evidence > Flashcards

Flashcards in Evidence Deck (33)
Loading flashcards...

Testifying criminal D proving character

May testify to specific acts to establish his good character


Criminal D's prior gang activity

Where D is accused of conducting or participating in criminal gang activity, evidence of D's commission of criminal gang activity is admissible and may be considered on any matter to which it is relevant


Jury view of scene

The view is not evidence; only to help the jury better understand the evidence.


Polygraph tests

Admissible only pursuant to stipulation by D and by the state


Authentication of photo

Admissible over an authentication objection despite unavailability of the authenticating witness if the court determines that the item tends to show reliably the facts for which it is offered.


Unattended camera or recording device

Admitted if (1) the court determines it tends to show reliably the facts for which it is offered and (2) it has a time stamp.


Competency – infants

Any case involving a dependent child (i.e., one without proper parental care) and in any criminal case in which a child was a victim of or witness to a crime, the child is competent to testify even if he does not understand the nature of the oath. Still subject to competency challenge on other grounds (e.g., lack of use of reason because of intellectual disability).


Use of memo by a witness – use in cross-examination

Neither the attorney/client privilege nor attorney work product protection are waived by using covered materials to prepare a witness before the witness takes the stand. Thus, the judge cannot order the disclosure of such materials.


Lay witness opinion – value of land

Permissible so long as the opinion is reasoned


Expert opinion testimony – relevance

Criminal case: admissible on any question of science, skill, trade, or like question; judge determines whether a particular procedure or technique has reached a scientific stage of verifiable certainty

Civil case: apply the FRE


Expert qualification – professional malpractice

Expert testifying to standard of care must be licensed to practice in the state in which he was practicing or teaching at the time of the alleged act or omission.

Med mal: expert must have also actively practiced or taught for at least 3/5 years prior with sufficient frequency to establish an appropriate level of knowledge relative to the procedure or treatment at issue


Prior inconsistent statements – foundation for extrinsic evidence & effect

Not admissible unless the witness is FIRST given opportunity to explain or deny the statement

Admissible as substantive evidence and for impeachment


Conviction of crime – pleas

Cannot impeach a witness based on a nolo contendere plea


Testimonial privileges

(1) Attorney/client
(2) Marital communications
(3) Communications among grand jurors
(4) State secrets
(5) Psychiatrist/patient
(6) Psychologist/patient
(7) Social worker/client
(8) Communications among professionals about client


Comment on privilege

Criminal case: party's assertion of privilege may not be used against them

Civil case: party's assertion of privilege may be used by the trier of fact to draw a negative inference against the party


Physician/patient privilege

Does not exist in GA


Psychiatrist/patient privilege

Does not exist if the doctor is appointed by the court to evaluate a person's mental state


Spousal immunity

Does not apply when (1) spouse is charged with a crime against any minor child, but the spouse will be compelled to give evidence only on the specific act for which D is charged; and (2) when D is charged with crime against spouse or spouse's property


Marital communications privilege

Belongs to the communicating spouse and is perpetual (i.e., cannot be waived by deceased spouse's administrator or by the surviving spouse)


Self-incrimination privilege

Very broad in GA; but witness is required to answer questions tending to bring infamy, disgrace, or public contempt upon himself or his family if the proposed evidence is material to the issues in the case


Clergy/penitent privilege

Not waived if the penitent has others present for counseling purposes


Professional journalist privilege

Qualified; can be wived if the information is (1) material and relevant; (2) cannot be obtained through other reasonable methods; and (3) necessary for proper presentation of the case.


Court-called witnesses

Court can call (1) court-appointed expert witnesses; (2) witness re: competency of a part; and (3) child witnesses. Any other witnesses can be called with the consent of all parties.


Rule against hearsay

Out-of-court statements of a testifying witness are NOT hearsay, but generally not admissible as cumulative and/or improper bolstering.

Admissible if (1) it is prior inconsistent statement; (2) it is a prior consistent statement that logically rebuts an attack on the witness's credibility; or (3) it falls within some hearsay exception.



When given in evidence by one party, the other has the right to have the whole admission and all the conversations connected with it admitted into evidence


Vicarious admissions – government agents

Statements of government agents are not admissions of the state in a criminal case


Statements of co-conspirators

Statements made by conspirator during the concealment phase may be admissible against co-conspirators if made in furtherance of the conspiracy

May apply even if the persons involved have not been charged with conspiracy


Present state of mind

Limits statements of intent to the declarant's own intent, not the intent of third persons (e.g., "I'm going to NYC with Sam" would exclude "with Sam")


Statements for diagnosis or treatment – statements by victims of child abuse identifying the abuser

To be admissible under the medical exception, (1) declarant's motive must have been consistent with the purpose of promoting treatment; and (2) the content of the statement is of a type reasonably relied on by a physician in treatment or diagnosis.


Public records

Admissible only under public records exception – cannot use the business records exception.