Evidence-Wellborn SU2006 Outline

O ex assertion of damage to reputation in a libel

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Unformatted text preview: 05(b) Defamation and libel civil cases have to be allowed to use character because character is an element, need to have destroyed someone's character...so obviously have to allow evidence 405(B) says you can do it by acts as well as opinion and reputation because it is an element of the crime! Only in cases in which a person's character is `an essential element of a charge, claim, or defense" may a party offer evidence of specific instances of conduct. Character evidence does not constitute an "essential element" of a claim or charge unless it alters the rights and liabilities of the parties under substantive law. o Ex: Assertion of damage to reputation in a libel case makes the plaintiff's character an issue under the substantive law. Since the plaintiff's character is substantively at issue in a libel case under Georgia law, Rule 405(b) permits the admission of evidence regarding specific instances of the plaintiff's conduct on that issue. Even though the case is civil! o 405(b) does not employ the language "accused" or "prosecution" thereby is not limited to criminal cases. Example: Negligent entrustment Person in c...
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