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EVIDENCE OUTLINE PROOF Proof: can never be conclusive at trial. Lawyers and judges: constantly searching for proof of a fact Factual v. legal propositions: demonstrated differently o Two methods to prove fact: Why? o 1. Do we try to prove facts because proving that a rule of law means something doesn’t equate to a clear answer? Facts also don’t lead to a clear answer: This is why lawyers must argue about both legal and factual propositions o 2. Is it because judges decide law, juries decide facts? Bench trials: this would be saying that the rules of evidence don’t apply in bench trials Kenneth Colt Davis: Says that judges and administrators shouldn’t follow the rules of evidence ( just the lawyers???) FRE 101: Applies to judges, not to juries; no exceptions for bench trials – Federal Rules don’t follow KCD o Rules of evidence apply in bench trials, although they might apply differently FRE 402 – Relevant evidence: All is permissible if it is relevant, subject to admissibility/ exclusionary ruled of evidence o Issues: Rules get in way of search for truth? Jury Rules: Juries are told what they can do with the evidence they have seen; in the past, there were books and books of presumptions FRE enacted in 1975, common law before, CA has CEC Congress adopted mostly the AC’s rules, but not those relating to privilege: FRE 501 – privileges are still common law, but ct can look to proposed rules for guidance Rules are only binding in Fed Cts (FRE 101): Even if they don’t apply to the states, they are still considered persuasive authority, and all states have rules patterned after FRE (2 major areas of divestiture – scientific evidence and prior crimes), not all states have codified evidence rules, CA has its own code RELEVANCE FRE 402 is an exclusionary rule: Wigmore’s idea of scientific system of proof, but today we just say rational system of proof. But we’re really just trying to get the accurate facts. o 1. Relevant evidence is admissible unless there is a good reason to exclude it o 2. Irrelevant evidence is inadmissible P should be allowed to introduce all relevant evidence: It is up to the jury, and not the just the judge, to determine the weight of the evidence. Lots of little pieces of evidence might add up to something bigger Hairs of evidence: Judicial economy is served if we don’t allow this, plus juries don’t get bored, plus it would take lots to get make anything substantial out of it – so we conclude that hairs of evidence are not relevant Beer can hypo: DUI, officer wants to introduce evidence of ½ full beer can found in car o FRE 401: Evidence is relevant if it increases or decreases the probability of something at issue in the trial o ½ empty beer can would be allowed: Question is not the sufficiency of the evidence, it’s the relevance of it o Empty beer can allowed: There are more arguments here – did he drink it there? The strength of this
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2010 for the course LAW 7330 taught by Professor Lushing during the Fall '05 term at Yeshiva.

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