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Evidence

Evidence

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Anything You Say (Or Like, Repost, And Quote) Can Be Used Against You, Alexandra Heyl Jan 2024

Anything You Say (Or Like, Repost, And Quote) Can Be Used Against You, Alexandra Heyl

Catholic University Law Review

Social media allows users to exchange thoughts and ideas without saying a single word. Whether a user “likes” “reposts” or “quotes” third-party content, a user publicly interacts with content authored by someone else with the click of a button. Is this online activity more akin to a user making a statement, adopting a third-party’s statement, or not making a statement at all? Does it matter? Only certain statements can be used against you at trial. Federal Rule of Evidence (“Federal Rule”) 802(a) provides that “hearsay” is an out-of-court statement offered for the truth of the matter asserted. According to Federal …


The New People V. Collins: How Can Probabilistic Evidence Be Properly Admitted?, David Crump Jan 2024

The New People V. Collins: How Can Probabilistic Evidence Be Properly Admitted?, David Crump

Maine Law Review

The California Supreme Court’s decision in People v. Collins is a staple in Evidence casebooks. An innovative assistant district attorney in the trial court had presented a mathematician who applied probabilities to questions about the perpetrators’ characteristics. The state supreme court disapproved the injection of an equation featuring what mathematicians call the “product rule.” The opinion contains thank-goodness-we-escaped-that-disaster reasoning and condemnation of this use of mathematics with probabilities. But the court’s analysis probably would be different if the case were decided today, as the “new” People v. Collins. Therefore, this Article considers what the author calls the new People v. …


The Superfluous Rules Of Evidence, Jeffrey Bellin Nov 2023

The Superfluous Rules Of Evidence, Jeffrey Bellin

Faculty Publications

There are few American legal codifications as successful as the Federal Rules of Evidence. But this success masks the project’s uncertain beginnings. The drafters of the Federal Rules worried that lawmakers would not adopt the new rules and that judges would not follow them. As a result, they included at least thirty rules of evidence that do not, in fact, alter the admissibility of evidence. Instead, these rules: (1) market the rules project, and (2) guide judges away from anticipated errors in applying the (other) nonsuperfluous rules.

Given the superfluous rules’ covert mission, it should not be surprising that the …


Bending The Rules Of Evidence, Edward K. Cheng, G. Alexander Nunn, Julia Simon-Kerr Oct 2023

Bending The Rules Of Evidence, Edward K. Cheng, G. Alexander Nunn, Julia Simon-Kerr

Northwestern University Law Review

The evidence rules have well-established, standard textual meanings—meanings that evidence professors teach their law students every year. Yet, despite the rules’ clarity, courts misapply them across a wide array of cases: Judges allow past acts to bypass the propensity prohibition, squeeze hearsay into facially inapplicable exceptions, and poke holes in supposedly ironclad privileges. And that’s just the beginning.

The evidence literature sees these misapplications as mistakes by inept trial judges. This Article takes a very different view. These “mistakes” are often not mistakes at all, but rather instances in which courts are intentionally bending the rules of evidence. Codified evidentiary …


The Federal Rules Of Emojis: A Proposed Framework For Handling Emoji Evidence In Trial Contexts, Marilyn Hurzeler Oct 2023

The Federal Rules Of Emojis: A Proposed Framework For Handling Emoji Evidence In Trial Contexts, Marilyn Hurzeler

Fordham Law Review

Emojis are 3,633 ubiquitous symbols-as-communication used by 92 percent of internet users. These tiny yet influential pieces of evidence hold the power to complete, enhance, mitigate, and flip the meaning of surrounding text. Consequently, court references to emojis have grown exponentially in the last five years. As emojis have become a cornerstone of digital discourse, courts have increasingly encountered the significant impact of emojis on parties’ legal claims. A guide for handling of emoji evidence under the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE), therefore, is important to afford proper treatment to this relatively new evidentiary form.

This Note discusses how the …


Bending The Rules Of Evidence, Edward K. Cheng, G. Alexander Nunn, Julia Simon-Kerr Oct 2023

Bending The Rules Of Evidence, Edward K. Cheng, G. Alexander Nunn, Julia Simon-Kerr

Faculty Scholarship

The evidence rules have well-established, standard textual meanings—meanings that evidence professors teach their law students every year. Yet, despite the rules’ clarity, courts misapply them across a wide array of cases: Judges allow past acts to bypass the propensity prohibition, squeeze hearsay into facially inapplicable exceptions, and poke holes in supposedly ironclad privileges. And that’s just the beginning.

The evidence literature sees these misapplications as mistakes by inept trial judges. This Article takes a very different view. These “mistakes” are often not mistakes at all, but rather instances in which courts are intentionally bending the rules of evidence. Codified evidentiary …


The History Of Forensic-Science Evidence In Criminal Trials And The Role Of Early “Success” In Establishing Its Putative Reliability, Carrie Leonetti Aug 2023

The History Of Forensic-Science Evidence In Criminal Trials And The Role Of Early “Success” In Establishing Its Putative Reliability, Carrie Leonetti

St. Mary's Law Journal

This Article posits the history of forensic-science evidence plays a significant role in the unquestioning manner of its modern acceptance. It traces early high-profile forensic science “successes” and the public reactions to them. It argues the public perception of the “advances” of forensic science continues to play a role in the lack of scrutiny given to these disciplines in admissibility decisions today. It concludes, when it comes to forensic science, history should play a different role by serving as a critical warning rather than a congratulatory buttress.


Remarks On Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights, Amber Baylor, Valena Beety, Susan Sturm Jun 2023

Remarks On Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights, Amber Baylor, Valena Beety, Susan Sturm

Articles by Maurer Faculty

The following are remarks from a panel discussion co-hosted by the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law and the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law on the book Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights.


Childist Objections, Youthful Relevance, And Evidence Reconceived, Mae C. Quinn Apr 2023

Childist Objections, Youthful Relevance, And Evidence Reconceived, Mae C. Quinn

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

Evidence rules are written by and for adults. As a result, they largely lack the vantage point of youth and are rooted in arm’s-length assumptions about the lives and legal interests of young people. Moreover, because children have been mostly treated as evidentiary afterthoughts, they have been patched into the justice system and its procedures in a piecemeal fashion. Yet, to date, there has been no comprehensive scholarly critique of evidence principles and practices for failing to meaningfully account for youth. And the evidentiary intersection of youth and race has been almost entirely overlooked in legal scholarship. This Article, in …


Digital Habit Evidence, Andrew Guthrie Ferguson Jan 2023

Digital Habit Evidence, Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

This Article explores how “habit evidence” will become a catalyst for a new form of digital proof based on the explosive growth of smart homes, smart cars, smart devices, and the Internet of Things. Habit evidence is the rule that certain sorts of semiautomatic, regularized responses to particular stimuli are trustworthy and thus admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence (“FRE”) 406 “Habit; Routine Practice” and state equivalents.

While well established since the common law, “habit” has made only an inconsistent appearance in reported cases and has been underutilized in trial practice. But intriguingly, once applied to the world of …


Theorizing Corroboration, Maggie Wittlin Jan 2023

Theorizing Corroboration, Maggie Wittlin

Faculty Scholarship

A child makes an out-of-court statement accusing an adult of abuse. That statement is important proof, but it also presents serious reliability concerns. When deciding whether it is sufficiently reliable to be admitted, should a court consider whether the child’s statement is corroborated—whether, for example, there is medical evidence of abuse? More broadly, should courts consider corroboration when deciding whether evidence is reliable enough to be admitted at trial? Judges, rule-makers, and scholars have taken significantly divergent approaches to this question and come to different conclusions.

This Article argues that there is a key problem with using corroboration to evaluate …


The Incongruence Principle Of Evidence, Hillel Bavli Jan 2023

The Incongruence Principle Of Evidence, Hillel Bavli

Indiana Law Journal

Evidence law assumes that the meaning and value of information at trial is equal to the meaning and value of the same information in the real world. This premise underlies evidence policy, judicial applications of evidence law, and instructions to jurors for evaluating evidence. However, it is incorrect, and the law’s failure to recognize this hinders its aims of accuracy and equality.

In this article, I draw on fields outside of law—including Bayesian inference and cognitive psychology—to develop a model of evidence that describes how jurors combine new evidence with prior beliefs (or “priors”) to make inferences and judgments. I …


Reforming Eyewitness Identification Processes: Challenges And Recommendations For Successful Implementation, Daniel Manley Jan 2023

Reforming Eyewitness Identification Processes: Challenges And Recommendations For Successful Implementation, Daniel Manley

Mitchell Hamline Law Journal of Public Policy and Practice

No abstract provided.


The Future Scope Of The Character Evidence Prohibition: The Contextual Statutory Construction Argument That Could Finally Force The Policy Discussion, Paul F. Rothstein, Edward J. Imwinkelried Jan 2023

The Future Scope Of The Character Evidence Prohibition: The Contextual Statutory Construction Argument That Could Finally Force The Policy Discussion, Paul F. Rothstein, Edward J. Imwinkelried

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The general prohibition of character evidence is one of the most important doctrines in American Evidence law. Since the Supreme Court has held that the Eighth Amendment forbids status offenses in adult prosecutions, the doctrine has constitutional overtones. Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) applies the prohibition to evidence of an accused’s other crimes and wrongs. Since such evidence can be inflammatory and the Rule’s limits sometimes confusing, Rule 404(b) generates more published opinions than any other provision of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Although the prohibition extends beyond other crimes, most of the controversy swirls around the Rule’s application to …


Confrontation, The Legacy Of Crawford, And Important Unanswered Questions, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman Jan 2023

Confrontation, The Legacy Of Crawford, And Important Unanswered Questions, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This is a short piece for the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform as part of its 2024 Symposium on “Crawford at 20: Reforming the Confrontation Clause.” The piece's purpose is to highlight certain important questions left unanswered by Crawford v. Washington and subsequent confrontation cases.


State V. Hudgen¸ 272 A.3d 1069 (R.I. 2022)., Judd W. Krasher Jan 2023

State V. Hudgen¸ 272 A.3d 1069 (R.I. 2022)., Judd W. Krasher

Roger Williams University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Tragedies Of The Cultural Commons, Etienne C. Toussaint Dec 2022

Tragedies Of The Cultural Commons, Etienne C. Toussaint

Faculty Publications

In the United States, Black cultural expressions of democratic life that operate within specific historical-local contexts, yet reflect a shared set of sociocultural mores, have been historically crowded out of the law and policymaking process. Instead of democratic cultural discourse occurring within an open and neutral marketplace of ideas, the discursive production and consumption of democratic culture in American politics has been rivalrous. Such rivalry too often enables dominant White supremacist cultural beliefs, values, and practices to exercise their hegemony upon law’s production and meaning. The result has been tragedy for politically disempowered and socioeconomically excluded communities.

This Article uses …


For Whom The Sol Tolls: Examining The Role Of The Discovery Rule And Statutes Of Limitations In Ncaa Concussion Litigation, Joseph Sabin Esq., Andrew L. Goldsmith Ph.D. Aug 2022

For Whom The Sol Tolls: Examining The Role Of The Discovery Rule And Statutes Of Limitations In Ncaa Concussion Litigation, Joseph Sabin Esq., Andrew L. Goldsmith Ph.D.

UNH Sports Law Review

No abstract provided.


Private Search And Seizure: The Constitutionality Of Anton Piller Orders In Canada, Dimitros Valkanas Jun 2022

Private Search And Seizure: The Constitutionality Of Anton Piller Orders In Canada, Dimitros Valkanas

Dalhousie Law Journal

This paper examines the constitutionality of the Anton Piller order in Canadian law. First, the paper examines whether Anton Piller orders overall are unconstitutional through three major avenues of attack: (i) Charter challenges; (ii) the ultra vires doctrine; and (iii) the principle of natural justice, audi alteram partem. Afterwards, in the event that no challenge against Anton Piller orders broadly would succeed, the paper examines whether their uniquely Canadian variant known as a “rolling” or “John (or Jane) Doe” Anton Piller orders could be challenged, looking at both Charter and non-Charter challenges. Finally, this paper proposes the imposition of additional …


#Wetoo, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan Apr 2022

#Wetoo, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

All Faculty Scholarship

The #MeToo movement has caused a widespread cultural reckoning over sexual violence, abuse, and harassment. “Me too” was meant to express and symbolize that each individual victim was not alone in their experiences of sexual harm; they added their voice to others who had faced similar injustices. But viewing the #MeToo movement as a collection of singular voices fails to appreciate that the cases that filled our popular discourse were not cases of individual victims coming forward. Rather, case after case involved multiple victims, typically women, accusing single perpetrators. Victims were believed because there was both safety and strength in …


The Living Rules Of Evidence, G. Alexander Nunn Mar 2022

The Living Rules Of Evidence, G. Alexander Nunn

Faculty Scholarship

The jurisprudential evolution of evidence law is dead. At least, that’s what we’re expected to believe. Ushered in on the wings of a growing positivist movement, the enactment of the Federal Rules of Evidence purported to quell judicial authority over evidence law. Instead, committees, conferences, and members of Congress would regulate any change to our evidentiary regime, thereby capturing the evolution of evidence law in a single, transparent code.

The codification of evidence law, though, has proven problematic. The arrival of the Federal Rules of Evidence has given rise to a historically anomalous era of relative stagnation in the doctrinal …


The "Unfairness" Proof: Exposing The Fatal Flaw Hidden In The Rule Governing The Use Of Criminal Convictions To Impeach Character For Truthfulness, Robert Steinbuch Feb 2022

The "Unfairness" Proof: Exposing The Fatal Flaw Hidden In The Rule Governing The Use Of Criminal Convictions To Impeach Character For Truthfulness, Robert Steinbuch

Pepperdine Law Review

Federal Rule of Evidence 609 (adopted by various states as well) allows for the introduction of certain convictions at trial to impeach the credibility— i.e., character for truthfulness—of any witness. The rule bifurcates its requirements between those that apply to criminal defendants—who, in theory, are afforded greater protection throughout the law than are all other participants in trials—and all remaining witnesses. The most important distinction between the standards that apply to these two classes of witnesses is that for prior crimes of criminal defendants to be introduced to impeach their credibility, those wrongdoings must survive a special balancing test spelled …


Stereotyping Evidence: The Civil Exception To The Federal Rape Shield Law And Its Embedded Sexual Stereotypes, Ramona Albin Jan 2022

Stereotyping Evidence: The Civil Exception To The Federal Rape Shield Law And Its Embedded Sexual Stereotypes, Ramona Albin

American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law

No abstract provided.


Liberty And Justice For All?: A Pathfinder On The Use Of Lyrics As Evidence In Civil And Criminal Trial, Stephanie Washington Jan 2022

Liberty And Justice For All?: A Pathfinder On The Use Of Lyrics As Evidence In Civil And Criminal Trial, Stephanie Washington

Upper Level Writing Requirement Research Papers

No abstract provided.


[Marked Confidential]: Negative Externalities Of Discovery Secrecy, Gustavo Ribeiro Jan 2022

[Marked Confidential]: Negative Externalities Of Discovery Secrecy, Gustavo Ribeiro

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Current unprecedented levels of secrecy in civil discovery create significant negative externalities by preventing our adversary system from measuring up to the broad public goals that justify it. First, excessive discovery secrecy undermines the courts and the public’s ability to correct distortions of the truth-seeking function of the adversary system caused by excessive partisanship and confirmation bias. Second, it weakens the adversary system’s promotion of liberal democratic values, such as transparency and self-government. Third, it threatens the adversary system’s role in upholding human dignity, understood either as respect or status. To correct the negative externalities caused by excessive discovery secrecy, …


The Prosecutor In The Mirror: Conviction Integrity Units And Brady Claims, Lissa Griffin, Daisy Mason Jan 2022

The Prosecutor In The Mirror: Conviction Integrity Units And Brady Claims, Lissa Griffin, Daisy Mason

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

In Brady v. Maryland, the Supreme Court held that a prosecutor has a due process obligation to disclose exculpatory evidence that is material to guilt or punishment. The failure to fulfill this duty is particularly insidious because it bears directly on both whether an innocent defendant may have been convicted as well as on whether the adjudicatory process was fair. The failure to disclose exculpatory evidence has been characterized as “epidemic” and has been documented to have made a major, outsized contribution in cases that resulted in exonerations. It is not surprising, then, that conviction integrity units in prosecutor’s offices …


Criminal Justice Secrets, Meghan J. Ryan Jan 2022

Criminal Justice Secrets, Meghan J. Ryan

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

The American criminal justice system is cloaked in secrecy. The government employs covert surveillance operations. Grand-jury proceedings are hidden from public view. Prosecutors engage in closed-door plea-bargaining and bury exculpatory evidence. Juries convict defendants on secret evidence. Jury deliberations are a black box. And jails and prisons implement clandestine punishment practices. Although there are some justifications for this secrecy, the ubiquitous nature of it is contrary to this nation’s Founders’ steadfast belief in the transparency of criminal justice proceedings. Further, the pervasiveness of secrecy within today’s criminal justice system raises serious constitutional concerns. The accumulation of secrecy and the aggregation …


The Case For The Abolition Of Criminal Confessions, Guha Krishnamurthi Jan 2022

The Case For The Abolition Of Criminal Confessions, Guha Krishnamurthi

SMU Law Review

Confessions have long been considered the gold standard of evidence in criminal proceedings. But in truth, confession evidence imposes significant harms on our criminal justice system, through false convictions and other violations of defendants’ due process and moral rights. Moreover, our current doctrine is unable to eliminate or even curb these harms.

This Article makes the case for the abolition of confession evidence in criminal proceedings. Though it may seem radical, abolition is sensible and best furthers our penological goals. As a theoretical matter, confession evidence has low probative value, but it is prejudicially overvalued by juries and judges. Consequently, …


The Entity Attorney-Client Privilege Meets The Twenty-First Century: Rethinking Functional Equivalent Analysis In The Time Of A Nonemployee Workforce., Grace M. Giesel Jan 2022

The Entity Attorney-Client Privilege Meets The Twenty-First Century: Rethinking Functional Equivalent Analysis In The Time Of A Nonemployee Workforce., Grace M. Giesel

Faculty Scholarship

Courts have struggled with whether an entity’s attorney-client privilege can protect communications between the entity’s lawyer and a nonemployee who has information the entity’s lawyer needs to best advise the entity. The nonemployee might be a former employee. But increasingly in recent times, the nonemployee is an individual who was never an entity employee. Corporations and other entities have incorporated nonemployees in their economic enterprises in all sorts of roles—roles employees may have held in the past. Many courts have accepted that the privilege can apply to communications involving former employees.

When faced with nonemployees who are not former employees, …


"You Should Have Known:" The Need For Evidentiary Notice Requirements In Immigration Court, Marisa Moore Apel Dec 2021

"You Should Have Known:" The Need For Evidentiary Notice Requirements In Immigration Court, Marisa Moore Apel

University of Cincinnati Law Review

No abstract provided.