Flashcards in Evidence Deck (33)
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.
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
(2) Marital communications
(3) Communications among grand jurors
(4) State secrets
(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
Does not exist in GA
Does not exist if the doctor is appointed by the court to evaluate a person's mental state
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)
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
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 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.