Business records aren’t just text documents—they often include videos and other images that are digitally stored. Getting printouts of these images into evidence is just like any other business record evidence, but showing authenticity may require some tech knowledge. Continue reading
Objections to evidence at trial must be “timely made.” Evid C §353(a). But what does that actually mean? Continue reading
When there’s a suit involving someone’s estate, can you get into evidence a hearsay statement by the person who has died? If the statement falls under this exception to the hearsay rule, the dead person may have his or her say in court. Continue reading
If it’s your first trial or it’s been a while since you’ve tried a case, here’s a handy list of the steps to take when introducing your evidence at trial. Continue reading
Despite its relationship to new technologies, electronic evidence, including social media evidence, is actually treated the same as traditional forms of evidence in terms of admissibility. You can’t get it in without proper authentication. Here’s how it’s done with social media posts.
Based on public policy considerations, some types of potentially relevant evidence can’t be used at trial. One example is subsequent remedial or precautionary measures taken after an accident or other event, which, if it had been done before the event, would have tended to make it less likely to happen. Evid C §1151. Repairs and fixes can’t be used against a defendant unless it fits within an exception to the rule. Continue reading
An episode of This American Life described the failed effort to get a Tic-tac-toe-playing chicken into evidence in the death penalty case of a mentally ill man with a very low IQ. Defense counsel was trying to rebut a psychiatrist’s testimony that the defendant was aware he was going to be executed based on his beating her in a game of Tic-tac-toe. We’ll never know who would have won the game; the court refused to admit the chicken because it “would degrade the dignity of the court.” Although the chicken didn’t work out, demonstrative evidence can be a very powerful courtroom tool. Continue reading
It may not be favored by courts or be the parties’ preference, but there’s a place for evidence to be admitted for a limited purpose. It can be seen as either a creative solution to an evidence admissibility problem or a way around the rules, depending on your perspective. Continue reading