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Evidence Commons

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University of Washington School of Law

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Articles 1 - 30 of 94

Full-Text Articles in Evidence

Preserving Vawa's "Nonreport" Option: A Call For The Proper Storage Of Anonymous/Unreported Rape Kits, Gavin Keene Jun 2018

Preserving Vawa's "Nonreport" Option: A Call For The Proper Storage Of Anonymous/Unreported Rape Kits, Gavin Keene

Washington Law Review

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) requires participating states and the District of Columbia to pay for medical forensic exams for victims of rape and sexual assault, including the collection of evidence using “rape kits,” whether or not the victim chooses to pursue criminal charges. The chief statutory purpose of the requirement is to preserve evidence in the interest of justice without pressuring a traumatized victim to decide on the spot whether to activate a criminal investigation. Rape kits collected without an accompanying police report are called “anonymous rape kits,” “unreported rape kits,” or “Jane Doe rape kits.” This is ...


Petition For A Writ Of Certiorari. Kirk V. Invesco, Limited, 138 S.Ct. 1164 (2018) (No. 17-762), 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs Lexis 4618, 2017 Wl 5665441, Eric Schnapper, Nitin Sud Nov 2017

Petition For A Writ Of Certiorari. Kirk V. Invesco, Limited, 138 S.Ct. 1164 (2018) (No. 17-762), 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs Lexis 4618, 2017 Wl 5665441, Eric Schnapper, Nitin Sud

Court Briefs

QUESTION PRESENTED The Fair Labor Standards Act provides that covered employees who work more than 40 hours in a week must generally be paid overtime at a rate one and one-half times their regular rate. To assure compliance with that overtime rule, the Act and governing regulations require employers to maintain records of all hours worked by covered employees. If an employer has failed to keep the legally required records, the burden on the employee under Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co. is simply to "produce[] sufficient evidence to show the amount and extent of that work as a matter ...


Missing Police Body Camera Videos: Remedies, Evidentiary Fairness, And Automatic Activation, Mary D. Fan Jan 2017

Missing Police Body Camera Videos: Remedies, Evidentiary Fairness, And Automatic Activation, Mary D. Fan

Articles

A movement toward police regulation by recording is sweeping the nation. Responding to calls for accountability, transparency and better evidence, departments have rapidly adopted body cameras. Recording policies require the police to record more law enforcement encounters than ever before. But what happens if officers do not record? This is an important, growing area of controversy. Based on the collection and coding of police department body camera policies, this Article reveals widespread detection and enforcement gaps regarding failures to record as required. More than half of the major-city departments in the sample have no provisions specifying consequences for not recording ...


Justice Visualized: Courts And The Body Camera Revolution, Mary D. Fan Jan 2017

Justice Visualized: Courts And The Body Camera Revolution, Mary D. Fan

Articles

What really happened? For centuries, courts have been magisterially blind, cloistered far away from the contested events that they adjudicate, relying primarily on testimony to get the story—or competing stories. Whether oral or written, this testimony is profoundly human, with all the passions, partisanship and imperfections of human perception.

Now a revolution is coming. Across the nation, police departments are deploying body cameras. Analyzing body camera policies from police departments across the nation, the article reveals an unfolding future where much of the main staple events of criminal procedure law will be recorded. Much of the current focus is ...


Electoral Evidence, Peter Nicolas Jan 2017

Electoral Evidence, Peter Nicolas

Articles

Each year, millions of Americans cast votes for specific candidates or on specific ballot measures. Each such vote generates potential "electoral evidence," the admissibility of which may be the subject of dispute in subsequent litigation. The evidence may take various forms, including the marked ballot itself, a voter's testimony regarding her vote, or her written or oral statements regarding her vote.

Electoral evidence is most commonly offered in litigation over the election outcome itself, with the parties seeking to determine how certain individuals voted to resolve a close election. However, its potential relevance is not limited to such proceedings ...


Hacking Qualified Immunity: Camera Power And Civil Rights Settlements, Mary D. Fan Jan 2017

Hacking Qualified Immunity: Camera Power And Civil Rights Settlements, Mary D. Fan

Articles

Excessive force cases are intensely fact-specific. Did the suspect resist, necessitating the use offorce? What threat did the suspect pose, if any? Was the use of force excessive in light of the situation? These are judgment calls based on myriad facts that differ from case to case. Establishing what really happened forces courts and juries to wade into a fact-bound morass filled with fiercely conflicting defendant-said, police-said battles.

Now an evidentiary transformation is underway. We are in an era where the probability of a police encounter being recorded has never been higher. With the rise of recording—by the public ...


Bringing Demonstrative Evidence In From The Cold: The Academy's Role In Developing Model Rules, Maureen A. Howard, Jeffry C. Barnum Jan 2016

Bringing Demonstrative Evidence In From The Cold: The Academy's Role In Developing Model Rules, Maureen A. Howard, Jeffry C. Barnum

Articles

To this day, judges and advocates struggle with the definition and use of "demonstrative evidence." The ambiguity of this term (or its close cousins "illustrative evidence" and evidence offered "for illustrative purposes only") infects the judicial process with uncertainty, hindering advocates when preparing for trial and, in some cases, producing erroneous verdicts. For example, the Seventh Circuit recently reversed a case for improper use of a demonstrative exhibit, and on retrial the result swung from a defense verdict to an $11 million plaintiffs victory. Uncertainty about the admission and use of demonstrative evidence has festered for decades. Lawyers innovate in ...


Privacy, Public Disclosure, Police Body Cameras: Policy Splits, Mary D. Fan Jan 2016

Privacy, Public Disclosure, Police Body Cameras: Policy Splits, Mary D. Fan

Articles

When you call the police for help—or someone calls the police on you—do you bear the risk that your worst moments will be posted on YouTube for public viewing? Police officers enter some of the most intimate incidences of our lives—after an assault, when we are drunk and disorderly, when someone we love dies in an accident, when we are distraught, enraged, fighting, and more. As police officers around the nation begin wearing body cameras in response to calls for greater transparency, communities are wrestling with how to balance privacy with public disclosure.

This Article sheds light ...


Saving An Old Friend From Extinction: A Proposal To Amend Rather Than To Abrogate The Ancient Documents Hearsay Exception, Peter Nicolas Jan 2015

Saving An Old Friend From Extinction: A Proposal To Amend Rather Than To Abrogate The Ancient Documents Hearsay Exception, Peter Nicolas

Articles

This Essay critically assesses a pending, proposed amendment to the Federal Rules of Evidence—slated to take effect in December 2017—that would abrogate Federal Rule of Evidence 803(16), the hearsay exception for ancient documents. The proposed amendment was motivated largely by a fear that large quantities of potentially unreliable, stockpiled, electronically stored information (ESI) are approaching the threshold age for being deemed "ancient" and could thus be swept into evidence via the exception.

In Part I of this Essay, I provide an overview of the proposed amendment. In Part II, I contend that although the proposal is a ...


The Legal Ethics Of Real Evidence: Of Child Porn On The Choirmaster's Computer And Bloody Knives Under The Stairs, Gregory C. Sisk Oct 2014

The Legal Ethics Of Real Evidence: Of Child Porn On The Choirmaster's Computer And Bloody Knives Under The Stairs, Gregory C. Sisk

Washington Law Review

With little guidance from the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and continuing confusion on professional obligations, questions about engagement with real evidence continue to bedevil criminal defense lawyers, incite prosecutors, generate disputes, and attract judicial attention. Where should we draw that line between what is demanded by the professional duties of zealous advocacy and client confidentiality and what constitutes obstruction of justice? When may a document or object that could conceivably be relevant in some future investigation or proceeding be destroyed, altered, or removed? May a criminal defense lawyer take possession of evidence of a crime for purposes of analysis ...


This Is Your Sword: How Damaging Are Prior Convictions To Plaintiffs In Civil Trials?, Kathryn Stanchi, Deirdre Bowen Oct 2014

This Is Your Sword: How Damaging Are Prior Convictions To Plaintiffs In Civil Trials?, Kathryn Stanchi, Deirdre Bowen

Washington Law Review

The conventional wisdom in law is that a prior conviction is one of the most powerful and damaging pieces of evidence that can be offered against a witness or party. In legal lore, prior convictions seriously undercut the credibility of the witness and can derail the outcome of a trial. This Article suggests that may not always be true. This Article details the results of an empirical study of juror decision-making that challenges the conventional wisdom about prior convictions. In our study, the prior conviction evidence did not have a direct impact on the outcome of the civil trial or ...


The Psychotherapist Privilege: Privacy And "Garden Variety" Emotional Distress, Helen A. Anderson Jan 2013

The Psychotherapist Privilege: Privacy And "Garden Variety" Emotional Distress, Helen A. Anderson

Articles

Surprisingly, there is no clear authority on implied waiver of the psychotherapist-patient privilege in federal courts. There is binding authority from the Supreme Court establishing the privilege, but the bold outlines of that decision have been blurred in the confusion about implied waiver.

This Article explores one aspect of that confusion: the popular "garden variety" approach, which favors plaintiffs with what the court deems garden variety, or "normal," mental distress. Although a few other scholars have written on the confusion in the law of implied waiver, this is the first article to look closely at the garden variety approach, which ...


Addressing The Costs And Comity Concerns Of International E-Discovery, John T. Yip Jun 2012

Addressing The Costs And Comity Concerns Of International E-Discovery, John T. Yip

Washington Law Review

The volume of electronically stored information (ESI) is expanding rapidly. Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, litigants may request electronic discovery (ediscovery) of many different forms of ESI. In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the party responding to an e-discovery request presumptively pays all e-discovery costs, including the costs of preserving, producing, and reviewing the requested ESI. Therefore, the rapidly increasing volume of ESI has substantially increased the costs of e-discovery for producing parties. In the 2003 case, Zubulake v. UBS Warburg LLC, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York established ...


Smooth Courtroom Moves: The "Exhibit Dance", Maureen A. Howard Jan 2011

Smooth Courtroom Moves: The "Exhibit Dance", Maureen A. Howard

Articles

Current court rules often require parties to identify proposed exhibits in advance of trial, as well as objections to the other side’s evidence, so the judge can make pretrial rulings on admissibility issues (e.g., FRCP 26). This practice saves precious trial time, minimizes the time that jurors are banished during sidebar discussions between judge and counsel, eliminates in large measure surprises about how the evidence will shape up at trial, and arguably promotes settlement. It also allows the exhibits to be pre-marked for identification, further streamlining the trial process.

Nonetheless, trial lawyers still need to be able to ...


Liar! Liar! Impeaching A Witness On Cross-Examination, Maureen A. Howard Jan 2010

Liar! Liar! Impeaching A Witness On Cross-Examination, Maureen A. Howard

Articles

There are certain trial moments that can set an advocate’s heart a-flutter. One is the opportunity to show the jury that an adverse witness is not to be trusted. Even better is the chance to expose the witness to be a bald-faced liar.

Welcome to the wonderful world of impeachment. Impeachment is the art of discrediting the witness on cross-examination. There are seven impeachment techniques:

• Bias, interest, and motive

• Contradictory facts

• Prior convictions — FRE 609

• Prior bad acts — FRE 608 (b)

• Prior inconsistent statements — FRE 613

• Bad character for truthfulness — FRE 608 (a)

• Treatises — FRE 803 (18)

Impeachment is ...


"I'M Dying To Tell You What Happened": The Admissibility Of Testimonial Dying Declarations Post-Crawford, Peter Nicolas Jan 2010

"I'M Dying To Tell You What Happened": The Admissibility Of Testimonial Dying Declarations Post-Crawford, Peter Nicolas

Articles

This Article demonstrates the existence and delineates the scope of a federal constitutional definition of "dying declarations" that is distinct from the definitions set forth in the Federal Rules of Evidence and their state counterparts. This Article further demonstrates that states have state constitutional definitions of "dying declarations" (for purposes of interpreting state constitutional analogues to the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment) that may differ in important respects from the federal constitutional definition of "dying declarations."

This Article then shows that some of the definitions of "dying declarations" contained in federal and state hearsay exceptions exceed the federal and ...


Balancing Interests Under Washington's Statute Governing The Admissibility Of Extraneous Sex-Offense Evidence, Blythe Chandler May 2009

Balancing Interests Under Washington's Statute Governing The Admissibility Of Extraneous Sex-Offense Evidence, Blythe Chandler

Washington Law Review

American courts traditionally exclude evidence that a defendant has committed crimes other than the crime with which the defendant is charged. This rule, with exceptions, is codified as Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) and Washington Evidence Rule 404(b). However, courts and legislatures have increasingly adopted the view that evidence of other sex offenses should be admissible in sex-offense prosecutions. The Washington State Legislature recently adopted a statute, RCW 10.58.090, which governs the admissibility of evidence of other sex offenses. This Comment argues that Washington courts should use precedent applying Rule 404(b) as a guide in ...


Left Hand, Third Finger: The Wearing Of Wedding (Or Other) Rings As A Form Of Assertive Conduct Under The Hearsay Rule, Peter Nicolas Jan 2009

Left Hand, Third Finger: The Wearing Of Wedding (Or Other) Rings As A Form Of Assertive Conduct Under The Hearsay Rule, Peter Nicolas

Articles

No abstract provided.


Swiss Cheese That's All Hole: How Using Reading Material To Prove Criminal Intent Threatens The Propensity Rule, Jessica Murphy May 2008

Swiss Cheese That's All Hole: How Using Reading Material To Prove Criminal Intent Threatens The Propensity Rule, Jessica Murphy

Washington Law Review

In United States v. Curtin, the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, held that Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) permits a defendant’s reading material to be introduced as evidence of his intent to commit a crime. The decision expressly overruled Guam v. Shymanovitz, an earlier Ninth Circuit opinion that called the admissibility of reading material into question. This Note argues that the Curtin decision failed to appreciate the extent to which reading material may reveal only a defendant’s propensity to commit a charged crime, rather than his or her intent to do so. To reduce the possibility that ...


Admitting Computer Record Evidence After In Re Vinhnee: A Stricter Standard For Future?, Cooper Offenbecher Oct 2007

Admitting Computer Record Evidence After In Re Vinhnee: A Stricter Standard For Future?, Cooper Offenbecher

Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts

In re Vinhnee, a Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel decision, employed Edward Imwinkelried’s eleven-step foundation process for authenticating computer records. In employing the eleven-step process, the Vinhnee court articulated a stricter standard than has previously been used by most courts for admitting computer records into evidence. This Article will first consider the various foundation standards that courts have applied to computer records. Next, the Article will analyze the Vinhnee standard, consider its elements, and compare it to the previous standards and commentary. Finally, the Article will conclude that the Vinhnee approach reflects common concerns by courts and commentators, and ...


Suing Based On Spyware? Admissibility Of Evidence Obtained From Spyware In Violation Of Federal And State Wiretap Laws: O'Brien V. O'Brien As A Paradigmatic Case, Shan Sivalingam Feb 2007

Suing Based On Spyware? Admissibility Of Evidence Obtained From Spyware In Violation Of Federal And State Wiretap Laws: O'Brien V. O'Brien As A Paradigmatic Case, Shan Sivalingam

Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts

Early in 2005, a Florida intermediate appellate court ruled that a trial court adjudicating a divorce proceeding had properly excluded evidence that the wife obtained by installing a spyware program on the husband’s computer. The court held that the evidence was an intercepted electronic communication that violated a Florida statute modeled after the Federal Wiretap Act. The Florida court ruled that exclusion fell properly within the discretion of the trial court, despite the fact that the relevant Florida statute did not contain an exclusionary rule for intercepted electronic communications. This Article provides a short overview of the federal and ...


The Use And Misuse Of High-Tech Evidence By Prosecutors: Ethical And Evidentiary Issues, Robert Aronson, Jacqueline Mcmurtrie Jan 2007

The Use And Misuse Of High-Tech Evidence By Prosecutors: Ethical And Evidentiary Issues, Robert Aronson, Jacqueline Mcmurtrie

Articles

This essay first addresses the ethical and evidentiary standards for the emerging use of high-tech computer-generated animations and computer-assisted closing arguments. Next, this essay considers the same questions within the context of forensic DNA evidence. Third, this essay considers the ethics of prosecutors' use of such evidence and the consequences for the misuse of this evidence. Finally, this essay suggests remedies to ethical problems facing prosecutors in their use of this kind of evidence.


Recordings, Transcripts, And Translations As Evidence, Clifford S. Fishman Aug 2006

Recordings, Transcripts, And Translations As Evidence, Clifford S. Fishman

Washington Law Review

Secretly recorded conversations often play a vital role in criminal trials. However, circumstances such as background noise, accidents, regional or national idioms, jargon, or code may make it difficult for a jury to hear or understand what was said—even if all participants were speaking English. Thus, a recording's value as evidence will often depend on whether an accurate transcript may be distributed to the jury. This Article discusses several legal issues, including: Who should prepare a transcript? What should it contain? How should its accuracy be determined, and by whom? Should the transcript be considered evidence, or only ...


Repercussions Of Crawford V. Washington: A Child's Statement To A Washington State Child Protective Services Worker May Be Inadmissible, Heather L. Mckimmie Feb 2005

Repercussions Of Crawford V. Washington: A Child's Statement To A Washington State Child Protective Services Worker May Be Inadmissible, Heather L. Mckimmie

Washington Law Review

Before the landmark United States Supreme Court case of Crawford v. Washington, Washington State courts often admitted statements of unavailable alleged child abuse victims through the hearsay testimony of Washington State Child Protective Services (CPS) workers. In Crawford, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a new "testimonial" standard for the admissibility of out-of-court statements. The Court held that the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment bars testimonial out-of-court statements unless the declarant is unavailable and the defendant had a prior opportunity to cross-examine the declarant. The Court did not clearly define the term testimonial, which left the matter open to ...


De Novo Review In Deferential Robes?: A Deconstruction Of The Standard Of Review Of Evidentiary Errors In The Federal System, Peter Nicolas Jan 2004

De Novo Review In Deferential Robes?: A Deconstruction Of The Standard Of Review Of Evidentiary Errors In The Federal System, Peter Nicolas

Articles

Although the labels have changed, the name of the appellate game is still the same. For any given type of error in admitting or excluding evidence, one needs to determine whether review is discretionary or deferential. The purpose of this Article is to parse each of the rules of evidence to determine which types of claimed errors are entitled to de novo review, which are entitled to clear error review, and which are entitled to traditional abuse of discretion review. By "type" of error, this Article does not mean to refer to such large categories as "hearsay," "best evidence," "relevance ...


A Review Of China's New Civil Evidence Law, Paul J. Schmidt Mar 2003

A Review Of China's New Civil Evidence Law, Paul J. Schmidt

Washington International Law Journal

On December 21, 2001, China's Supreme People's Court promulgated landmark rules concerning the production and use of evidence in civil cases. These rules became effective on April 1, 2002 and apply to legal actions initiated after that date. The rules apply in all Chinese courts, from the high and intermediate level courts found at the provincial and prefecture level, down to the basic level courts found in rural counties and in urban districts. Of the eighty-three newly promulgated rules, more than half concern procedures for exchanging, confronting, investigating, or discovering evidence. Eleven are strict rules of evidence. The ...


A Review Of China's New Civil Evidence Law, Paul J. Schmidt Mar 2003

A Review Of China's New Civil Evidence Law, Paul J. Schmidt

Washington International Law Journal

On December 21, 2001, China's Supreme People's Court promulgated landmark rules concerning the production and use of evidence in civil cases. These rules became effective on April 1, 2002 and apply to legal actions initiated after that date. The rules apply in all Chinese courts, from the high and intermediate level courts found at the provincial and prefecture level, down to the basic level courts found in rural counties and in urban districts. Of the eighty-three newly promulgated rules, more than half concern procedures for exchanging, confronting, investigating, or discovering evidence. Eleven are strict rules of evidence. The ...


"They Say He's Gay": The Admissibility Of Evidence Of Sexual Orientation, Peter Nicolas Jan 2003

"They Say He's Gay": The Admissibility Of Evidence Of Sexual Orientation, Peter Nicolas

Articles

This Article seeks to fill an existing gap. Part II of this Article discusses the ways in which the sexual orientation of a victim, party, or witness is relevant within the meaning of Federal Rule of Evidence 401 and its state-law analogues, as well as when such evidence, although relevant, is nonetheless excluded due to its potential prejudicial impact.

Part III of this Article examines the hearsay rule and its exceptions to determine when, if ever, a person's assertion that he is gay can be admitted into evidence. Part IV of this Article discusses the applicability of the spousal ...


Reverse Presumptions: Guillen V. Pierce County Disregards Reasonable Constitutional Interpretations Of 23 U.S.C. § 409, Megan Walseth Jul 2002

Reverse Presumptions: Guillen V. Pierce County Disregards Reasonable Constitutional Interpretations Of 23 U.S.C. § 409, Megan Walseth

Washington Law Review

To prove that dangerous roadways caused their traffic accidents, plaintiffs often seek discovery of highway information from state and local governments. Title 23 U.S.C. § 409 bars discovery of some of that information; it creates an evidentiary privilege for materials and data collected for certain federal highway safety funding programs. For example, state and local governments receiving funds through the federal hazard elimination program codified at 23 U.S.C. § 152 must maintain an engineering survey of all state public roads. Section 409, in turn, makes certain data and materials compiled or collected for § 152 exempt from discovery and ...


Fire Sale? The Admissibility Of Evidence Of Environmental Contamination To Determine Just Compensation In Washington Eminent Domain Proceedings, Paul W. Moomaw Oct 2001

Fire Sale? The Admissibility Of Evidence Of Environmental Contamination To Determine Just Compensation In Washington Eminent Domain Proceedings, Paul W. Moomaw

Washington Law Review

Jurisdictions across the United States are split on the issue of whether evidence of environmental contamination should be admissible to determine just compensation in an eminent domain proceeding. Jurisdictions that admit this evidence reason that environmental contamination is a property characteristic that necessarily affects the value of the property. Those that exclude the evidence cite procedural due process concerns and the risk of extra liability for the landowner. Washington's Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) establishes a system of assigning liability and recovering cleanup costs for environmental contamination. No Washington court has addressed whether evidence of environmental contamination should be ...