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Michigan Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Evidence

Making Rule 23 Ideal: Using A Multifactor Test To Evaluate The Admissibility Of Evidence At Class Certification, Cianan M. Lesley Oct 2019

Making Rule 23 Ideal: Using A Multifactor Test To Evaluate The Admissibility Of Evidence At Class Certification, Cianan M. Lesley

Michigan Law Review

Circuit courts are split on whether and to what extent the Daubert standard should apply at class certification. Potential plaintiffs believe that application of Daubert would make it nearly impossible to obtain class certification. For potential defendants, the application of the standard is an important way to ensure that the certification process is fair. This Note examines the incentives underlying the push to apply the Daubert standard at class certification and the benefits and drawbacks associated with that proposal. It proposes a solution that balances the concerns of both plaintiffs and defendants by focusing on three factors: the obstacles to ...


Is The Exclusionary Rule A Prohibition-Era Relic?, Thomas M. Hardiman, Lauren Gailey Apr 2019

Is The Exclusionary Rule A Prohibition-Era Relic?, Thomas M. Hardiman, Lauren Gailey

Michigan Law Review

Review of Wesley M. Oliver's The Prohibition Era and Policing: A Legacy of Misregulation.


Neither Limited Nor Simplified: A Proposal For Reform Of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 222(B), Michael S. Smith Dec 2018

Neither Limited Nor Simplified: A Proposal For Reform Of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 222(B), Michael S. Smith

Michigan Law Review

A limited and simplified discovery system should broaden access to courts, resolve disputes quickly, and expedite relief to injured parties. It should not incentivize procedural gamesmanship or increase the system’s complexity. Regrettably, Illinois’s “limited and simplified” discovery system does both. The initiation procedure for the simplified system, Rule 222(b), creates procedural traps and perverse incentives for both plaintiffs and defendants, and conflicting appellate interpretations of the Rule intensify the problem. This Note examines the flaws underlying the current simplified discovery scheme and argues for reform. It examines simplified discovery schemes in other states to recommend a new ...


Cabining Judicial Discretion Over Forensic Evidence With A New Special Relevance Rule, Emma F.E. Shoucair Oct 2018

Cabining Judicial Discretion Over Forensic Evidence With A New Special Relevance Rule, Emma F.E. Shoucair

Michigan Law Review

Modern forensic evidence suffers from a number of flaws, including insufficient scientific grounding, exaggerated testimony, lack of uniform best practices, and an inefficacious standard for admission that regularly allows judges to admit scientifically unsound evidence. This Note discusses these problems, lays out the current landscape of forensic science reform, and suggests the addition of a new special relevance rule to the Federal Rules of Evidence (and similar rules in state evidence codes). This proposed rule would cabin judicial discretion to admit non-DNA forensic evidence by barring prosecutorial introduction of such evidence in criminal trials absent a competing defense expert or ...


Digging Into The Foundations Of Evidence Law, David H. Kaye Apr 2017

Digging Into The Foundations Of Evidence Law, David H. Kaye

Michigan Law Review

Review of The Psychological Foundations of Evidence Law by Michael J. Saks and Barbara A. Spellman.


The Crime Lab In The Age Of The Genetic Panopticon, Brandon L. Garrett Jan 2017

The Crime Lab In The Age Of The Genetic Panopticon, Brandon L. Garrett

Michigan Law Review

Review of Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice by Adam Benforado, Inside the Cell: The Dark Side of Forensic DNA by Erin E. Murphy, and Cops in Lab Coats: Curbing Wrongful Convictions Through Independent Forensic Laboratories by Sandra Guerra Thompson.


Face-To-Face With Facial Recognition Evidence: Admissibility Under The Post-Crawford Confrontation Clause, Joseph Clarke Celentino Jan 2016

Face-To-Face With Facial Recognition Evidence: Admissibility Under The Post-Crawford Confrontation Clause, Joseph Clarke Celentino

Michigan Law Review

In Crawford v. Washington, the Supreme Court announced a major change in Confrontation Clause doctrine, abandoning a decades-old framework that focused on the common law principles of hearsay analysis: necessity and reliability. The new doctrine, grounded in an originalist interpretation of the Sixth Amendment, requires courts to determine whether a particular statement is testimonial. But the Court has struggled to present a coherent definition of the term testimonial. In its subsequent decisions, the Court illustrated that its new Confrontation Clause doctrine could be used to bar forensic evidence, including laboratory test results, if the government failed to produce the technician ...


The Future Of Confession Law: Toward Rules For The Voluntariness Test, Eve Brensike Primus Oct 2015

The Future Of Confession Law: Toward Rules For The Voluntariness Test, Eve Brensike Primus

Michigan Law Review

Confession law is in a state of collapse. Fifty years ago, three different doctrines imposed constitutional limits on the admissibility of confessions in criminal cases: Miranda doctrine under the Fifth Amendment, Massiah doctrine under the Sixth Amendment, and voluntariness doctrine under the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. But in recent years, the Supreme Court has gutted Miranda and Massiah, effectively leaving suspects with only voluntariness doctrine to protect them during police interrogations. The voluntariness test is a notoriously vague case-by-case standard. In this Article, I argue that if voluntariness is going to be the framework for ...


Disentangling Michigan Court Rule 6.502(G)(2): The "New Evidence" Exception To The Ban On Successive Motions For Relief From Judgment Does Not Contain A Discoverability Requirement, Claire V. Madill Jun 2015

Disentangling Michigan Court Rule 6.502(G)(2): The "New Evidence" Exception To The Ban On Successive Motions For Relief From Judgment Does Not Contain A Discoverability Requirement, Claire V. Madill

Michigan Law Review

Michigan courts are engaging in a costly interpretative mistake. Confused by the relationship between two distinct legal doctrines, Michigan courts are conflating laws in a manner that precludes convicted defendants from raising their constitutional claims in postconviction proceedings. In Michigan, a convicted defendant who wishes to collaterally attack her conviction must file a 6.500 motion. The Michigan Court Rules generally prohibit “second or subsequent” motions. Nonetheless, section 6.502(G)(2) permits a petitioner to avoid this successive motion ban if her claim relies on “new evidence that was not discovered” before her original postconviction motion. Misguided by the ...


A Simple Theory Of Complex Valuation, Anthony J. Casey, Julia Simon-Kerr May 2015

A Simple Theory Of Complex Valuation, Anthony J. Casey, Julia Simon-Kerr

Michigan Law Review

Complex valuations of assets, companies, government programs, damages, and the like cannot be done without expertise, yet judges routinely pick an arbitrary value that falls somewhere between the extreme numbers suggested by competing experts. This creates costly uncertainty and undermines the legitimacy of the court. Proposals to remedy this well-recognized difficulty have become increasingly convoluted. As a result, no solution has been effectively adopted and the problem persists. This Article suggests that the valuation dilemma stems from a misconception of the inquiry involved. Courts have treated valuation as its own special type of inquiry distinct from traditional fact-finding. We show ...


Proving Personal Use: The Admissibility Of Evidence Negating Intent To Distribute Marijuana, Stephen Mayer May 2015

Proving Personal Use: The Admissibility Of Evidence Negating Intent To Distribute Marijuana, Stephen Mayer

Michigan Law Review

Against the backdrop of escalating state efforts to decriminalize marijuana, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices continue to bring drug-trafficking prosecutions against defendants carrying small amounts of marijuana that are permitted under state law. Federal district courts have repeatedly barred defendants from introducing evidence that they possessed this marijuana for their own personal use. This Note argues that district courts should not exclude three increasingly common kinds of “personal use evidence” under Federal Rules of Evidence 402 and 403 when that evidence is offered to negate intent to distribute marijuana. Three types of personal use evidence are discussed in this Note: (1 ...


The Banality Of Wrongful Executions, Brandon L. Garrett Apr 2014

The Banality Of Wrongful Executions, Brandon L. Garrett

Michigan Law Review

What is so haunting about the known wrongful convictions is that those cases are the tip of the iceberg. Untold numbers of unnoticed errors may send the innocent to prison — and to the death chamber. That is why I recommend to readers a trilogy of fascinating new books that peer deeper into this larger but murkier problem. Outside the rarified group of highly publicized exonerations, which have themselves done much to attract attention to the causes of wrongful convictions, errors may be so mundane that no one notices them unless an outsider plucks a case from darkness and holds it ...


Responding To Independent Juror Research In The Internet Age: Positive Rules, Negative Rules, And Outside Mechanisms, Robbie Manhas Mar 2014

Responding To Independent Juror Research In The Internet Age: Positive Rules, Negative Rules, And Outside Mechanisms, Robbie Manhas

Michigan Law Review

Independent juror research is an old problem for jury trials. It invites potentially prejudicial, irrelevant, and inaccurate information to guide jury decisionmaking. At the same time, independent juror research compromises our adversarial system by preventing parties from responding to all the evidence under consideration and obfuscating the record on which the jury’s decision is made. These threats have only increased in the internet age, where inappropriate sources of information are ubiquitous and where improper access is hard to detect. Nevertheless, courts and parties continue to engage in the same inhibitory measures they have employed for decades. This Note argues ...


Toward A Child-Centered Approach To Evaluating Claims Of Alienation In High-Conflict Custody Disputes, Allison M. Nichols Feb 2014

Toward A Child-Centered Approach To Evaluating Claims Of Alienation In High-Conflict Custody Disputes, Allison M. Nichols

Michigan Law Review

Theories of parental alienation abound in high-conflict custody cases. The image of one parent brainwashing a child against the other parent fits with what we think we know about family dynamics during divorce. The concept of a diagnosable “Parental Alienation Syndrome” (“PAS”) developed as an attempt to explain this phenomenon, but it has been widely discredited by mental health professionals and thus fails the standard for evidentiary admissibility. Nevertheless, PAS and related theories continue to influence the decisions of family courts, and even in jurisdictions that explicitly reject such theories, judges still face the daunting task of resolving these volatile ...


The Legality Of Deliberate Miranda Violations: How Two-Step National Security Interrogations Undermine Miranda And Destabilize Fifth Amendment Protections, Lee Ross Crain Dec 2013

The Legality Of Deliberate Miranda Violations: How Two-Step National Security Interrogations Undermine Miranda And Destabilize Fifth Amendment Protections, Lee Ross Crain

Michigan Law Review

As part of the global “War on Terror,” federal agents intentionally delay issuing Miranda warnings to terrorism suspects during custodial interrogations. They delay the warnings presuming that unwarned suspects will more freely offer vital national security intelligence. After a suspect offers the information he has, agents administer Miranda warnings and attempt to elicit confessions that prosecutors can use at the suspect’s trial. No court has ruled on the constitutionality of this two-step national security interrogation process to determine whether admitting the second, warned confession is allowed under Miranda v. Arizona and its progeny. A fragmented Supreme Court examined two-step ...


A Model For Fixing Identification Evidence After Perry V. New Hampshire, Robert Couch Jun 2013

A Model For Fixing Identification Evidence After Perry V. New Hampshire, Robert Couch

Michigan Law Review

Mistaken eyewitness identifications are the leading cause of wrongful convictions. In 1977, a time when the problems with eyewitness identifications had been acknowledged but were not yet completely understood, the Supreme Court announced a test designed to exclude unreliable eyewitness evidence. This standard has proven inadequate to protect against mistaken identifications. Despite voluminous scientific studies on the failings of eyewitness identification evidence and the growing number of DNA exonerations, the Supreme Court's outdated reliability test remains in place today. In 2012, in Perry v. New Hampshire, the Supreme Court commented on its standard for evaluating eyewitness evidence for the ...


Counsel's Control Over The Presentation Of Mitigating Evidence During Capital Sentencing, James Michael Blakemore May 2013

Counsel's Control Over The Presentation Of Mitigating Evidence During Capital Sentencing, James Michael Blakemore

Michigan Law Review

The Sixth Amendment gives a defendant the right to control his defense and the right to a lawyer's assistance. A lawyer's assistance, however, sometimes interferes with a defendant's control over his case. As a result, the Supreme Court, over time, has had to delineate the spheres of authority that pertain to counsel and defendant respectively. The Court has not yet decisively assigned control over mitigating evidence to either counsel or defendant. This Note argues that counsel should control the presentation of mitigating evidence during capital sentencing. First, and most importantly, decisions concerning the presentation of mitigating evidence ...


Empty Promises: Miranda Warnings In Noncustodial Interrogations, Aurora Maoz May 2012

Empty Promises: Miranda Warnings In Noncustodial Interrogations, Aurora Maoz

Michigan Law Review

You have the right to remain silent; anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney; if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you at the state's expense. In 2010, the Supreme Court declined an opportunity to resolve the question of what courts should do when officers administer Miranda warnings in a situation where a suspect is not already in custody-in other words, when officers are not constitutionally required to give or honor these warnings. While most courts have found a superfluous warning to ...


A Tale Of Two Sciences, Erin Murphy Apr 2012

A Tale Of Two Sciences, Erin Murphy

Michigan Law Review

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . .. . So might one describe the contrasting portraits of DNA's ascension in the criminal justice system that are drawn in David Kaye's The Double Helix and the Law of Evidence and Sheldon Krimsky and Tania Simoncelli's Genetic Justice: DNA Data Banks, Criminal Investigations, and Civil Liberties. For Kaye, the double helix stands as the icon of twenty-first-century achievement, a science menaced primarily by the dolts (lawyers, judges, and the occasional analyst) who misuse it. For Krimsky and Simoncelli, DNA is a seductive forensic tool that is ...


New Pleading, New Discovery, Scott Dodson Jan 2010

New Pleading, New Discovery, Scott Dodson

Michigan Law Review

Pleading in federal court has a new narrative. The old narrative was one of notice, with the goal of broad access to the civil justice system. New Pleading, after the landmark Supreme Court cases of Twombly and Iqbal, is focused on factual sufficiency, with the purpose of screening out meritless cases that otherwise might impose discovery costs on defendants. The problem with New Pleading is that factual insufficiency often is a poor proxy for meritlessness. Some plaintifs lack sufficient factual knowledge of the elements of their claims not because the claims lack merit but because the information they need is ...


Relative Doubt: Familial Searches Of Dna Databases, Erin Murphy Jan 2010

Relative Doubt: Familial Searches Of Dna Databases, Erin Murphy

Michigan Law Review

The continued growth of forensic DNA databases has brought about greater interest in a search method known as "familial" or "kinship" matching. Whereas a typical database search seeks the source of a crime-scene stain by making an exact match between a known person and the DNA sample, familial searching instead looks for partial matches in order to find potential relatives of the source. The use of a familial DNA search to identify the alleged "Grim Sleeper" killer in California brought national attention to the method, which has many proponents. In contrast, this Article argues against the practice of familial searching ...


Torts And Innovation, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein Nov 2008

Torts And Innovation, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein

Michigan Law Review

This Essay exposes and analyzes a hitherto overlooked cost of tort law: its adverse effect on innovation. Tort liability for negligence, defective products, and medical malpractice is determined by reference to custom. We demonstrate that courts' reliance on custom and conventional technologies as the benchmark of liability chills innovation and distorts its path. Specifically, recourse to custom taxes innovators and subsidizes replicators of conventional technologies. We explore the causes and consequences of this phenomenon and propose two possible ways to modify tort law in order to make it more welcoming to innovation.


Doctors & Juries, Philip G. Peters Jr. Jan 2007

Doctors & Juries, Philip G. Peters Jr.

Michigan Law Review

Physicians widely believe that jury verdicts are unfair. This Article tests that assumption by synthesizing three decades of jury research. Contrary to popular belief the data show that juries consistently sympathize more with doctors who are sued than with patients who sue them. Physicians win roughly half of the cases that expert reviewers believe physicians should lose and nearly all of the cases that experts feel physicians should win. Defendants and their hired experts, it turns out, are more successful than plaintiffs and their hired experts at persuading juries to reach verdicts contrary to the opinions of independent reviewers.


The Cognitive Psychology Of Circumstantial Evidence, Kevin Jon Heller Nov 2006

The Cognitive Psychology Of Circumstantial Evidence, Kevin Jon Heller

Michigan Law Review

Empirical research indicates that jurors routinely undervalue circumstantial evidence (DNA, fingerprints, and the like) and overvalue direct evidence (eyewitness identifications and confessions) when making verdict choices, even though false-conviction statistics indicate that the former is normally more probative and more reliable than the latter The traditional explanation of this paradox, based on the probability-threshold model of jury decision-making, is that jurors simply do not understand circumstantial evidence and thus routinely underestimate its effect on the objective probability of the defendant's guilt. That may be true in some situations, but it fails to account for what is known in cognitive ...


Learning The Wrong Lessons From "An American Tragedy": A Critique Of The Berger-Twerski Informed Choice Proposal, David E. Bernstein Aug 2006

Learning The Wrong Lessons From "An American Tragedy": A Critique Of The Berger-Twerski Informed Choice Proposal, David E. Bernstein

Michigan Law Review

Margaret Berger and Aaron Twerski are among the leading scholars in their respective fields of Evidence and Products Liability. I have benefited from their work on many occasions. Precisely because of the deserved respect and esteem in which Berger and Twerski are held-not to mention the prominence of their forum, the Michigan Law Review-their proposal to create a new "informed choice" cause of action in pharmaceutical litigation is likely to receive sympathetic attention. Because I believe that their proposal is ill-conceived and dangerous, I feel compelled (with some trepidation) to write this response. Berger and Twerski propose that courts recognize ...


From The Wrong End Of The Telescope: A Response To Professor David Bernstein, Margaret A. Berger, Aaron D. Twerski Aug 2006

From The Wrong End Of The Telescope: A Response To Professor David Bernstein, Margaret A. Berger, Aaron D. Twerski

Michigan Law Review

On the pages of this law review, in an article entitled Uncertainty and Informed Choice: Unmasking Daubert, the authors argued for the recognition of a new product liability cause of action when drug companies fail to warn about uncertain risks attendant to the use of non-therapeutic drugs whose purpose is to enhance lifestyle. We noted that in the post-Daubert era, plaintiffs have faced increasing difficulty in proving that a given toxic agent was causally responsible for the injuries suffered after ingesting a drug. That plaintiffs cannot overcome the barriers to proving injury causation does not mean that defendants have met ...


Same Old, Same Old: Scientific Evidence Past And Present, Edward K. Cheng May 2006

Same Old, Same Old: Scientific Evidence Past And Present, Edward K. Cheng

Michigan Law Review

For over twenty years, and particularly since the Supreme Court's Daubert decision in 1993, much ink has been spilled debating the problem of scientific evidence in the courts. Are jurors or, in the alternative, judges qualified to assess scientific reliability? Do courts really need to be concerned about "junk science"? What mechanisms can promote better decision making in scientific cases? Even a cursory scan of the literature shows the recent explosion of interest in these issues, precipitating new treatises, hundreds of articles, and countless conferences for judges, practitioners, and academics. To this literature, Professor Tal Golan adds Laws of ...


"Electronic Fingerprints": Doing Away With The Conception Of Computer-Generated Records As Hearsay, Adam Wolfson Oct 2005

"Electronic Fingerprints": Doing Away With The Conception Of Computer-Generated Records As Hearsay, Adam Wolfson

Michigan Law Review

One night, in the hours just before daybreak, the computer servers at Acme Corporation's headquarters quietly hum in the silence of the office's darkened hallways. Suddenly, they waken to life and begin haphazardly sifting through their files. Several states away, a hacker sits in his room, searching through the mainframe via an internet connection. His attack is quick-lasting only a short five minutes-but the evidence of invasion is apparent to Acme's IT employees when they come in to work the next morning. Nearly a year later, federal prosecutors bring suit in the federal district court against the ...


Apology Within A Moral Dialectic: A Reply To Professor Robbennolt, Lee Taft Jan 2005

Apology Within A Moral Dialectic: A Reply To Professor Robbennolt, Lee Taft

Michigan Law Review

Over the last several years, much has been written about the role of apology in facilitating the resolution of legal disputes. Within this body of work a debate has developed among legal scholars, practitioners, and legislators. Under traditional rules of evidence an apology which acknowledged fault would enter evidence as an admission against interest. Now there is a movement to legislatively "protect" apologies from the effects of the traditional rule in order to facilitate apology without evidentiary encumbrance. Scholars who have argued in favor of the relaxation of the traditional rule have largely relied on anecdotal evidence to support their ...


Apologies And Legal Settlement: An Empirical Examination, Jennifer K. Robbennolt Dec 2003

Apologies And Legal Settlement: An Empirical Examination, Jennifer K. Robbennolt

Michigan Law Review

It is often said that U.S. legal culture discourages apologies. Defendants, defense counsel, and insurers worry that statements of apology will be admissible at trial and will be interpreted by jurors and judges as admissions of responsibility. In recent years, however, several legal commentators have suggested that disputants in civil lawsuits should be encouraged to apologize to opposing parties. They claim that apologies will avert lawsuits and promote settlement. Consistent with this view, legislatures in several states have enacted statutes that are intended to encourage and protect apologies by making them inadmissible. In addition, some commentators argue that defendants ...