Hahalollawl wrote:The final review outline for Evidence says that extrinsic evidence of a specific act is not allowed to impeach a witness's character for truthfulness. A little later it says contradictory evidence can be used to impeach if it contradicts witness's testimony, including contradictory material extrinsic evidence. How are these consistent? Is it trying to say that the contradictory extrinsic evidence can be used to impeach the witness for everything but a specific act related to character for truthfulness?
Here's what I understand from Critical Pass:
1. You can use extrinsic evidence of a contradictory statement the witness made to impeach them. So, if witness testifies and says "I saw John Doe at the bar," but previously had said to his friend Jane, "I did not see John Doe at the bar," the statement to Jane is extrinsic evidence that can be used to impeach.
2. You can also impeach a witness on cross-examination about any prior misconduct (a specific act) that relates to his or her truthfulness (e.g. evidence that he lied to employer about his college degree shows that he's not truthful). This isn't necessarily a contradictory statement, but just some act that shows his untruthfulness. In this case, though, extrinsic evidence is not allowed. The questioning attorney can only ask the witness about his prior untruthful misconduct and has to take whatever the witness says as truth.
Hope this helps!