Can I learn evidence in two weeks?

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redoak11
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Can I learn evidence in two weeks?

Postby redoak11 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:06 am

So I just don’t get evidence. Does anyone have any particular advice for learning it in these last two weeks before my final? My final is multiple choice and true/false.

To give some idea of my poor handle on evidence, let me give an example. I just completed a mock trial, and found that I had almost no ability to grasp the hearsay issues in this situation: a guy calls his stockbroker and tells him that he “desperately” needs a loan. He wants "50k." Says he “needs it by the next day.” The stockbroker asks “what’s wrong, you sound terrible?” The guy says “I can’t tell you.” The stockbroker says “I can’t give you the money.” The guy says “well, I’m worth more dead than alive.” Conversation ends, and the guy winds up dead a half hour later. The issue of the case being whether his death was an accident or suicide. (I'm sure some of you know this case).

Questions … assuming the stockbroker is on the stand being questioned
1) Is it hearsay for him to recount any of the quoted material above that decedent said?
2) Is it hearsay for him to recount his own quoted statements?
3) Is it hearsay for him to state the general context of the conversation?

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ggocat
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Re: Can I learn evidence in two weeks?

Postby ggocat » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:00 am

1. Yes it is hearsay, but maybe it falls under the exception Rule 804(b)(2) as a statement under belief of impending death.

2. Yes?

3. No.

EDIT: Evidence was a long time ago for me, so those might be wrong.

EDIT: #2 I think is Yes now after looking back at 801(d)(1).
Last edited by ggocat on Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

Z3RO
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Re: Can I learn evidence in two weeks?

Postby Z3RO » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:11 am

ggocat wrote:1. Yes it is hearsay, but maybe it falls under the exception Rule 804(b)(2) as a statement under belief of impending death.

2. No?

3. No.

EDIT: Evidence was a long time ago for me, so those might be wrong.


Hey, I'm an 0L and those are the answers I got too (except for knowing the exception)!

rando
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Re: Can I learn evidence in two weeks?

Postby rando » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:30 am

redoak11 wrote:So I just don’t get evidence. Does anyone have any particular advice for learning it in these last two weeks before my final? My final is multiple choice and true/false.

To give some idea of my poor handle on evidence, let me give an example. I just completed a mock trial, and found that I had almost no ability to grasp the hearsay issues in this situation: a guy calls his stockbroker and tells him that he “desperately” needs a loan. He wants "50k." Says he “needs it by the next day.” The stockbroker asks “what’s wrong, you sound terrible?” The guy says “I can’t tell you.” The stockbroker says “I can’t give you the money.” The guy says “well, I’m worth more dead than alive.” Conversation ends, and the guy winds up dead a half hour later. The issue of the case being whether his death was an accident or suicide. (I'm sure some of you know this case).

Questions … assuming the stockbroker is on the stand being questioned
1) Is it hearsay for him to recount any of the quoted material above that decedent said?
2) Is it hearsay for him to recount his own quoted statements?
3) Is it hearsay for him to state the general context of the conversation?


Break it down. Take it slow. Hearsay is a bitch...

Out of court.

Statement.

Offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted.

It is often weird to think of someone testifying's (stockbroker) past statements as hearsay. But remember that they are recalling statements that were made out of court. And obviously the decedent's statements are out of court.

There is no real statement issue here because it isn't like conduct intended as an assertion, but those can be tricky, like pointing or nodding your head.

Offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Here it is offered to prove the death was accident or suicide (or murder?)
The stockbroker is recounting what the decedent said. It matters if they are true or not, right? If he was lying and he was trying to get the stockbroker to give him a loan to buy a yacht then his statements wouldn't really be relevant to how he died, right? So the truth or falsity of the statement matters.
To recount his own quoted statements, it is the same as above because it must be taken in context. The Check case shows that you can't just recount your own statements in a conversation, they necessarilly include a second level of hearsay that is the partner in the conversation.
And to recount the general context of the conversation is not a statement at all. The person testifying can be crossed about the situation and the truth or falsity of the matter doesn't lie in the statements but on the veracity of the testimony.

Hope this isn't too jumbled.

rando
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Re: Can I learn evidence in two weeks?

Postby rando » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:34 am

ggocat wrote:1. Yes it is hearsay, but maybe it falls under the exception Rule 804(b)(2) as a statement under belief of impending death.



While the declarant is clearly unavailable, this is too far removed from death to be a dying declaration. It also has to relate to the circumstances of the death. While this would be circumstantial evidence of reasons for killing decedent, it isn't "I owe the mafia $50k and Sylvio is hanging me out the window."

rando
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Re: Can I learn evidence in two weeks?

Postby rando » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:43 am

redoak11 wrote:1) Is it hearsay for him to recount any of the quoted material above that decedent said?


As mentioned, it is hearsay. However, the present sense impression (803(1)) exception should cover it. Nuttal.

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nealric
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Re: Can I learn evidence in two weeks?

Postby nealric » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:32 am

Evidence is easy. You could learn it in 3-4 days if you had to.

The only complicated subject is Hearsay- and even then it's just the exceptions that make it complicated. Everything else is a pretty simple set of rules.

rando
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Re: Can I learn evidence in two weeks?

Postby rando » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:58 am

nealric wrote:Evidence is easy. You could learn it in 3-4 days if you had to.

The only complicated subject is Hearsay- and even then it's just the exceptions that make it complicated. Everything else is a pretty simple set of rules.


I would argue the exceptions are easy, the hearsay is not. But whatever.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Can I learn evidence in two weeks?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:01 pm

rando wrote:
nealric wrote:Evidence is easy. You could learn it in 3-4 days if you had to.

The only complicated subject is Hearsay- and even then it's just the exceptions that make it complicated. Everything else is a pretty simple set of rules.


I would argue the exceptions are easy, the hearsay is not.

Bolded is credited.

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nealric
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Re: Can I learn evidence in two weeks?

Postby nealric » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:50 pm

I would argue the exceptions are easy, the hearsay is not. But whatever.


An assertive statement
Made by an out-of-court declarant
Is being offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted therein.

How complicated is that? People just get tripped up on the "truth of the matter asserted" thing.

rando
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Re: Can I learn evidence in two weeks?

Postby rando » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:18 pm

nealric wrote:
I would argue the exceptions are easy, the hearsay is not. But whatever.


An assertive statement
Made by an out-of-court declarant
Is being offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted therein.

How complicated is that? People just get tripped up on the "truth of the matter asserted" thing.


Seriously?

Verbal markers, circumstantial evidence of state of mind, effect on listener, independent legal significance, performative aspects... None of that is intuitive.

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Grad_Student
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Re: Can I learn evidence in two weeks?

Postby Grad_Student » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:33 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
rando wrote:
nealric wrote:Evidence is easy. You could learn it in 3-4 days if you had to.

The only complicated subject is Hearsay- and even then it's just the exceptions that make it complicated. Everything else is a pretty simple set of rules.


I would argue the exceptions are easy, the hearsay is not.

This is right. And yes, you can learn all of evidence in 3-4 days. Will you have an absolute command? No. I find Evidence to be too subjective as you can always weasel something in with the right judge. Good luck.




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