11-5-09 NotesPriorIncSSHandout

11-5-09 NotesPriorIncSSHandout - Tillers-Handout for...

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Tillers-Handout for student use only; do not distribute p. 1 of 3 Preliminatry Notes on Prior Statements of Witnesses – with Special Emphasis on Prior Inconsistent Statements Earlier in the course we studied several forms of impeachment – for example, impeachment by a showing of bias or interest. Now we are going to consider another form of impeachment: impeachment by prior inconsistent statements. This particular form of impeachment is particularly complex because it is tied up with the hearsay rule. Let's begin by reviewing some basic principles: 1. A statement made by a witness other than while testifying at trial is hearsay if the statement is offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted by the declarant. See FRE 801(c) (basic definition of hearsay). 2. This holds true even if the prior statement was made by a witness who is testifying at the trial. Take my word for it. Or see, again, FRE 801(c) (the Rule defining hearsay, which makes no exception for prior statements made by testifying
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11-5-09 NotesPriorIncSSHandout - Tillers-Handout for...

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