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What is the definition of hearsay?

Hearsay is 1. An out of court statement, 2. That is offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Hearsay is only admissible if it falls under an exception. A statement means a person's oral or written assertion or non verbal conduct if the person intended it as an assertion. If the act does not assert anything (like blinking) it is not deemed a statement for hearsay purposes.


What is the definition of multiple hearsay?

When evidence contains hearsay within hearsay (multiple or double hearsay), each level of hearsay must fall within an exception to be admissible.


What is considered non-hearsay?

If an out of court statement is being offered to prove something other than the truth of the statement, it is non-hearsay and is admissible. Four Common non-hearsay statements include: 1. Verbal acts of independent legal significance, 2. Statements offered to show the effect on the listener, 3. A prior inconsistent statement used to impeach, and 4. Circumstantial evidence of the speakers state of mind.


Relevancy of evidence.

To be admissible evidence must be relevant. Evidence is relevant if: 1. it has any tendency to make a fact more or less probable than it would be without the evidence; and 2. the fact is of consequence in determining the action. Relevant evidence is admissible unless another rule or exclusion provides otherwise.


What are the Rule 403 exclusions to relevant evidence?

Under Federal Rule of Evidence 403, the court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of: a. unfair prejudice, b. confusing the issues, c. misleading the jury, d. undue delay, e. wasting time, OR f. being needlessly cumulative. Evidence is unfairly prejudicial when the evidence is 1. unnecessary, AND 2. might cause the jury to improperly sympathize or dislike a party. As an alternative to excluding evidence completely under Rule 403, the court could limit the unfair prejudice to a party by limiting the scope of evidence or examination to specific topics.


Hearsay Exception: Present Sense Impression

Present sense impression is an exception to the hearsay rule. A present sense impression is a statement describing an event made by the declarant: a. while observing the event, or b. immediately thereafter. A few minutes after the event is within the period contemplated under this hearsay exception.


Hearsay Exceptions: Business Records Exception

Under this hearsay exception, a record of any act is admissible in evidence as proof of that act, if made in the regular course of business, and if if it was the regular course of such business to make it at the time of the actor within a reasonable time thereafter. The business record must consist of matters within the personal knowledge of someone with a business duty to transfer such knowledge to the entrant.