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A Short History Of Hearsay Reform, With Particular Reference To Hoffman V. Palmer, Eddie Morgan And Jerry Frank, Michael S. Ariens Jan 1995

A Short History Of Hearsay Reform, With Particular Reference To Hoffman V. Palmer, Eddie Morgan And Jerry Frank, Michael S. Ariens

Faculty Articles

Much of the history of the American law of evidence, including its most contentious issue, hearsay, is the story of stasis and reform. The case of Hoffman v. Palmer represents one of few cases concerning hearsay known by name, and illustrates that “false” evidence has often been used to caution against efforts proclaiming “radical reform” of the law of evidence.

In this case involving a collision between a car and a train, the critical question was: Is the defendant railroad permitted to introduce into evidence the transcript of a question and answer session made two days after the accident between ...