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Unformatted text preview: ion cases from other jurisdictions in
which the issue of records admissibility has been addressed. In Estate of Arrington v. 48 Fields, 578 S.W.2d 173 (Tex. Civ. App. 1979), n7 the court stated that a servant's
character is an issue and may be proven by evidence of reputation "or of specific
conduct" for the purpose of showing that the master knew or by exercising ordinary care
should have known of the servant's incompetence. Id. at 179. The employer in Fields
objected to the introduction of the employee's prior criminal conviction on several
grounds: remoteness (the latest conviction was 13 years prior to trial); unavailability of
the records to the employer; admission into evidence would serve no purpose except to
prejudice and inflame the jury; and that the prior convictions did not exhibit a propensity
to commit acts of violence. The Fields court rejected these arguments, pointing out,
among other things, that the evidence in the case, as in the case before us, reflected that
the employee's criminal [**47] record could have been obtained from at least two
sources and that whether the employer should have pursued the inquiries more diligently
is a question for the jury, "and does not control its admittance into evidence." 578 S.W.2d
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Footnotes- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - n7 Cited in Williams, 386 So.2d at 1240.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -End Footnotes- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - In Easley v. Apollo Detective Agency Inc., 69 Ill. App. 3d 920, 387 N.E.2d 1241, 26 Ill.
Dec. 313 (Ill. App. Ct. 1979), the court held that there was no error in admitting evidence
that an employee had been arrested twice before his employment as a security guard.
There, while conceding that unfitness may be shown by specific prior acts of misconduct,
the employer, nevertheless, urged that the mere fact of arrest has very little, if any,
probative value in showing that the employee has engaged in any misconduct. To this
argument the Easley court responded:
Whatever the applicability of that statement in another context, we cannot hold that a
person's prior arrests invariably have no relevance to whether he should be hired [**48]
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