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Flashcards in Relevance Deck (19):

Relevant Evidence

Always admissible. Must be Probative and Material.



fact has tendency to make the fact more or less probable than w/o evidence



consequence in determining the action


Direct Evidence

Identical to the factual proposition that it is offered to prove. (I saw D shoot victim dead.)…DON’T need for conviction.


Circumstantial Evidence

Sometimes better than direct evidence…if greater probative value. It’s evidence that tends to indirectly prove a factual proposition through inference from collateral facts


Exclusion of Relevant Evidence

Rule 403 provides it may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence.


Irrelevant Evidence

Generally, inadmissible. But can be introduced to rebut previously admitted irrelevant evidence.


Character Evidence - Civil

inadmissible to prove a person acted in accordance with that character on a particular occasion.

Admissible when character is essential element of the claim/defense instead of proving persons conduct (i.e. defamation, negligent hiring, child custody.)


Defendant's Character Evidence - Criminal - By Prosecution

Not permitted to introduce bad character to show D has propensity to commit crimes so likely to have committed this crime.


Defendant's Character Evidence - Criminal - By Defense

Permitted to introduce evidence of good character as inconsistent with type of crime charged, but must be PERTINENT to crime charged.

Reputation and opinion testimony must be from people who regularly engage with Defendant.


D "opens the Door"

when D offers good character evidence. Prosecution can rebut by attacking character.


Victim's Character Evidence by Defense

Defense can introduce reputation or opinion evidence of victim’s character when relevant to the defense asserted.


Victim's Character by Prosecution

Prosecution can offer rebuttal evidence of victim’s good character when D introduced evidence of victim’s bad character.



Character evidence = admissible for impeachment to show witness is not a person whose testimony should be believed.


Bad Acts

Typically inadmissible to show a person acted with that character on a particular occasion. CAN BE USED TO PROVE:
• Motive
• Intent
• Mistake (absence of)
• Identity
• Common Plan


Specific Acts - Civil Cases

If essential element of claim or defense, can be proved by specific instances of person’s conduct by testimony on reputation or opinion.


Specific Acts - Criminal Cases

Specific instances of conduct are not admissible. Only reputation or opinion testimony. Rep and opinion testimony must be from people who regularly engage with Defendant.


Specific Acts - Cross Examination

Witness can be asked about D’s specific acts.



Person’s particular routine is admissible to prove person acted in accordance with the habit on a particular occasion. Evidence must be sufficiently specific to be admitted.

Can be admitted without corroboration or eyewitness.