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Flashcards in Florida-Evidence ( COPY) Deck (63)
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1

A man is charged with murdering his 10-year-old niece. Five years before the alleged murder, the man was suspected of molesting a juvenile girl, but was never charged with a crime for the offense. Fifteen years before the alleged murder, he was convicted of statutory rape. The prosecution provided written disclosure of the evidence to the defense, and notification that it intended to present the evidence at trial as proof of the defendant's criminal proclivities. The defense filed a pretrial motion to exclude all references to the prior incidents.
How should the court rule on the motion?

Answers:

Grant the motion only as to the alleged molestation, because evidence of prior sexual crimes offered to prove conformity therewith is allowed in civil cases but not in criminal cases.

Grant the motion as to both incidents, because the man has not been charged with a crime of sexual assault or child molestation.

Deny the motion as to both incidents, because the Florida Rules of Evidence permit the admission of evidence of past sexual crimes.

Deny the motion as to the statutory rape conviction, because the man was convicted of a crime.

Grant the motion as to both incidents, because the man has not been charged with a crime of sexual assault or child molestation.


Evidence of a defendant's prior acts of sexual assault or child molestation is admissible in a criminal or civil case in which the defendant is accused of committing an act of sexual assault or child molestation. Such evidence may be admitted to prove any matter to which it is relevant.

2

A celebrity is accused of grand theft for taking a valuable necklace from a jewelry store on Miami Beach. The celebrity claims that she did not mean to take the necklace without permission, but rather thought that the store manager had agreed to lend it to her to wear during an upcoming event. The celebrity planned to return the necklace after the event was over. The only witnesses to the incident are the store manager and the celebrity's childhood friend. The celebrity plans to call her friend as a witness at the trial; the friend was adjudicated delinquent for fraud two years ago.
Can the prosecution introduce evidence of the celebrity's friend's juvenile conviction to show the friend's dishonesty?

Answers:

Yes, because the adjudication occurred within the past 10 years.

Yes, because the prior adjudication concerns the friend's character for truthfulness.

No, because the specific acts leading to the juvenile adjudication are admissible for impeachment.

No, because a juvenile adjudication may not be used for this purpose.

No, because a juvenile adjudication may not be used for this purpose.

Florida law specifically prohibits the use of juvenile adjudications for impeaching a witness's character for truthfulness.

3

A defendant was tried for armed robbery and testified in his own defense. The prosecution seeks to introduce evidence that the defendant was convicted of felony assault eight years prior, and served two years in prison.

Is evidence of the defendant’s conviction admissible?

Answers:

Yes, but only if the assault is relevant to the defendant’s propensity to commit armed robbery.

Yes, but only if the prosecution can show that the assault involved dishonesty or false statement.

Yes, but only if the probative value outweighs the prejudicial effect.

Yes, because the crime was a felony.

Yes, because the crime was a felony.

A witness’s character for truthfulness may be impeached by evidence that the witness has been convicted of a crime. Evidence of a felony conviction that does not relate to a crime involving dishonesty or false statement is admissible.

4

Plaintiff in a lawsuit to enforce a negotiable instrument sought to introduce a photocopy of the promissory note to be enforced, purportedly made and signed by the Defendant, to prove that the defendant owed Plaintiff the sum promised in the note. If Defendant objects to the introduction of this evidence because Plaintiff failed to establish a sufficient reason for the unavailability of the original. The court should

Answers:

admit the evidence.

exclude the evidence.

admit the evidence, but only if the plaintiff first demonstrates that the signature is the defendant’s.

exclude the evidence, but only if the plaintiff cannot demonstrate that the signature is the defendant’s.

exclude the evidence.


In Florida, a duplicate of a negotiable instrument is not treated as an original. Consequently, it cannot be introduced without a valid explanation for the unavailability of the original.

5

T/F: Statements made in connection with any plea or offer to plead are inadmissible, except when such statements are offered in a perjury prosecution.

TRUE

6

A blind woman was accosted by a gunman. After stealing the woman’s purse, the gunman shot the woman’s male companion, who had just appeared on the scene. The male, reasonably thinking that death was imminent, described to the female the gunman’s distinctive clothing as the gunman fled. The male survived the shooting, but suffered severe injury, including total memory loss. In a prosecution of the defendant for robbery of the female, the prosecution seeks to have the victim testify as to her male companion’s statement that described the gunman’s distinctive clothing. The defendant has objected that the statement is hearsay. The prosecution has responded that the statement is a dying declaration. Should the court permit the victim to testify as to her companion’s statement?

Answers:

Yes, because the companion reasonably thought that death was imminent.

Yes, because it is immaterial that the companion is available to testify.

No, because the companion was not the victim of robbery.

No, because the defendant is not being prosecuted for a homicide.

Yes, because the companion reasonably thought that death was imminent.

In order for a statement to qualify under the hearsay exception for a statement made under belief of impending death (a dying declaration), the declarant must reasonably believe that his death is imminent and the statement must relate to the cause or circumstances of his impending death. Here, the victim’s companion reasonably believed that his death was imminent and the statement regarding his assailant’s distinctive clothing relates the circumstance of the attack.

7

At trial in a negligence case, a witness was asked by the plaintiff’s attorney to read to the jury a summary of the accident that she prepared for the plaintiff’s insurance company immediately after witnessing the accident and about which she has insufficient memory to testify fully.

On objection by the defendant, the court should rule the testimony:

Answers:

Admissible, because the employee is on the witness stand and can be cross-examined.

Admissible if the witness is unable to remember the actual events of the accident.

Inadmissible as hearsay not within any exception.

Inadmissible, as such testimony may only be offered into evidence by an adverse party.

Admissible if the witness is unable to remember the actual events of the accident.

There is an exception to the hearsay rule for a memorandum or record concerning a matter about which a witness once had knowledge but now has insufficient recollection to enable the witness to testify fully and accurately, shown to have been made by the witness when the matter was fresh in the witness’s memory and to reflect that knowledge correctly. The summary to be read to the jury here was made immediately after the accident, while the witness’s memory of the events was fresh. If the witness is unable to remember the actual events of the accident, the rule would allow the summary to be read to the jury. Answer choice A is incorrect. The hearsay rule generally applies to any out-of-court statement, even if the declarant is available to be cross-examined on the witness stand. To be admissible, a statement that is hearsay must come within one of the exceptions to the hearsay rule. Answer choice C is incorrect. As explained above, the recorded recollection exception to the hearsay rule would apply. Answer choice D is incorrect. Although only an adverse party may offer the summary itself into evidence as an exhibit, The summary may be read into evidence by the WITNESS.

8

Which of the following statements regarding the “Reverse Williams” rule in Florida is TRUE?

A
The Federal Rules and Florida law apply the same standard for admitting “reverse” evidence of other acts.

B
The Federal Rules admit “reverse” evidence of other acts if the other crimes are strikingly similar.

C
Florida law admits “reverse” evidence of prior acts if the other crimes are relevant to show that there is reasonable doubt.

D
Florida law only admits “reverse” evidence of prior acts of “striking similarity."

D
Florida law only admits “reverse” evidence of prior acts of “striking similarity."

9

Which of the following statements is FALSE regarding the distinctions between Florida’s rules regarding admission of prior convictions and the Federal Rules?

A
Florida law, unlike federal law, permits impeachment with a crime for which the witness was later pardoned.

B
Florida law, unlike federal law, does not, under any circumstances, permit impeachment with a juvenile conviction.

C
Under Florida law, to admit a prior felony, the judge must decide whether the danger of unfair prejudice of the prior conviction is substantially outweighed by its probative value.

D
Florida law, unlike federal law, does not apply a heightened balancing test when dealing with a prior conviction of a testifying criminal defendant.

C
Under Florida law, to admit a prior felony, the judge must decide whether the danger of unfair prejudice of the prior conviction is substantially outweighed by its probative value.

10

Which of the following is NOT a requirement to require a Florida judge to take judicial notice of another state’s law.

A
A party must explicitly request judicial notice of the law in question.

B
The party seeking judicial notice must provide timely notice to the other party.

C
The party seeking judicial notice must give the court sufficient information to enable it to take judicial notice of the matter.

D
The judge must make an initial finding that the law is enforceable.

D
The judge must make an initial finding that the law is enforceable.

11

Which of the following statements regarding the husband-wife privilege is TRUE?

A
The Florida husband-wife privilege is held only by the testifying spouse.

B
Under Florida law, the privilege applies in proceedings in which one spouse is suing the other.

C
Under Florida law, the privilege applies in all criminal proceedings.

D
Under Florida law, the privilege only protects confidential communications between the spouses made during the marriage.

D
Under Florida law, the privilege only protects confidential communications between the spouses made during the marriage.

12

Which of the following is TRUE regarding the attorney-client privilege in Florida?

A
The privilege applies to communications made by a fiduciary or guardian for another person, made in furtherance of that relationship.

B
The privilege does not apply to communications relating to the use of Florida’s Child Support Enforcement Program.

C
The privilege applies to communications that are relevant to issues between parties who claim through the same deceased client.

D
The privilege never applies to communications that are relevant to the intention or competence of a client.

A
The privilege applies to communications made by a fiduciary or guardian for another person, made in furtherance of that relationship.

13

Which of the following is TRUE regarding former testimony?

A
The Federal Rules are more liberal than the Florida rules of evidence regarding former testimony.

B
In Florida, the witness who gave the former testimony does not have to be unavailable for the former testimony to be admissible in a criminal trial.

C
In Florida, former testimony can be offered against a party in a civil case even if neither the party nor a predecessor-in-interest have had an opportunity to develop that former testimony.

D
The former testimony hearsay exception is not available in Florida.

C
In Florida, former testimony can be offered against a party in a civil case even if neither the party nor a predecessor-in-interest have had an opportunity to develop that former testimony.

14

FRE: at conclusion of presentation of evidence, a judge can SUMMARIZE and COMMENT on the evidence.

Florida: a judge is NOT permitted to:

1. __________ the evidence
2._________ on the evidence
3. Comment on the ___________ of a witness
4. Comment on the ________ of the accused.

Summarize

Comment

Credibility

Guilt

15

Judicial Notice: distinctions?

FRE: judges take notice of ADJUDICATIVE facts only.

FL: judges take notice of both ADJUDICATIVE facts and certain ____________ facts.

LEGISLATIVE

16

Judicial Notice in Florida: what Legislative facts can a judge take notice of?

MUST take notice of:
-Laws and court rules that have statewide effect in Florida (All US and FL statutes, SCOTUS rules, etc).

MAY take notice of:
-any other laws and rules of court.
-any other facts not subject to reasonable dispute.

17

T/F: in Florida, the court MAY take judicial Notice of a discretionary matter IF a party requests it, provides timely Notice to the adverse party, and gives the court sufficient information to meet the rule.

FALSE

The Florida court MUST take notice of such a fact.

18

T/F: Under both state and federal rules, parties can be excluded from the courtroom on a motion of a party and/or at the judges discretion.

FALSE

In both FRE and FL, regardless of the type of case, parties can NEVER be excluded from the courtroom for any reason.

19

If a witness is shown to be ESSENTIAL to a party's case, the witness CAN/CANNOT be excluded.

CANNOT

20

What's "bursting the bubble" mean when referring to FL evidence?

Presumptions- level of proof-

"The presumption is conclusive unless contrary credible evidence is produced; if such evidence is produced, the presumption DISAPPEARS. (I.e.: the presumptions "bubble bursts")."

21

Under both the FRE and the FL evidence rules, character evidence is generally ______________ and CANNOT be used to prove that the person acted in conformity with that character.

INADMISSIBLE

22

Character evidence: Florida does NOT allow _____________ testimony to prove character, it only allows _____________ testimony.

Opinion

Reputation

23

In Florida, if Defendant offers evidence of the VICTIMS BAD CHARACTER the prosecutor may ONLY REBUT with ____________ evidence of the __________ good character.

REPUTATION (NO PRIOR ACTS at this stage!)

VICTIM'S


** this is a major difference from the FRE- the defendant offering evidence of the VICTIMS bad character does NOT "open the door."

24

Character evidence of SPECIFIC ACTS are proved by the ________ __ ___ ________ standard under the FRE but Florida applies a higher bar, the ________ ___ _________ standard. So, the judge is much less likely to admit specific acts as character evidence under the _____ .

PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE


CLEAR AND CONVINCING

FLORIDA RULES OF EVIDENCE

25

Florida MIMIC Rule- Florida uses the _______ Rule with regard to admitting Specific acts against the defendant. The prosecution must give the DEFENDANT at least ______ DAYS notice before trial of the intent to introduce such acts.

WILLIAMS

10

**Note- remember the clear and convincing standard which the judge uses in the balancing test.

26

If the Florida defendant claims someone else committed the offense, what must he show and what is the name of the rule?

REVERSE Williams Rule: The acts must by STRIKINGLY SIMILAR to be admitted in a Florida court.

27

Florida- HABIT evidence can be admitted but ONLY as __________ evidence.

CORROBORATING

28

Florida Child Witnesses:
1. an OATH is/is not required when the child _________ the duty to tell the truth.

2. Children under the age of ____ may be assisted in SEXUAL OFFENSE cases, such as with a service animal in the courts discretion.

IS NOT UNDERSTANDS

16

29

Florida- Impeachment- T/F: Florida allows a SPECIFIC ACT to be used for IMPEACHMENT purposes the same as the FRE.

FALSE

Florida only allows calling a REPUTATION witness, SPECIFIC ACTS will NOT be allowed.

30

Florida- Impeachment- Once a witness is impeached a REBUTTAL witness can be called (again, ONLY _______ evidence is admissible here).

However, after asking about reputation, the rebuttal witness can be ASKED about whether she has heard about any _________ _____ of untruthfulness by the primary witness.

REPUTATION



SPECIFIC ACTS.