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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 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 ...


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 ...


"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 ...


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 ...


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.


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.


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 ...


"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 ...


Attorney-Client Confidentiality And The Assessment Of Claimants Who Allege Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Robert H. Aronson, Lonnie Rosenwald, Gerald M. Rosen Jan 2001

Attorney-Client Confidentiality And The Assessment Of Claimants Who Allege Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Robert H. Aronson, Lonnie Rosenwald, Gerald M. Rosen

Articles

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was first recognized by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980. A PTSD diagnosis requires an individual or individual's loved ones to have experienced a traumatic event that was a threat to life or physical integrity and caused the individual to react to the incident with a specific number of avoidance, reexperiencing, and hyper-arousal symptoms. Obtaining a PTSD diagnosis can be of great value to a personal-injury plaintiff who claims damages due to a traumatic event. Further, if the traumatic event is unquestioned and the individual reports the classic symptoms, a PTSD diagnosis is relatively easy ...


The Mental Health Provider Privilege In The Wake Of Jaffe V. Redmond, Robert H. Aronson Jan 2001

The Mental Health Provider Privilege In The Wake Of Jaffe V. Redmond, Robert H. Aronson

Articles

Many of the revisions to article V of the Uniform Rules of Evidence involved stylistic, nonsubstantive changes. In particular, all language was made gender neutral. The most substantial revision was to Rule 503, formerly titled "Physician and Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege." This revision broadened the scope of the privilege to include a general "mental health provider" privilege, in accord with the trend in the states and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Jaffee v. Redmond. In Jaffee, the Court recognized for the first time a federal psychotherapist-patient privilege and extended the privilege to confidential communications with a licensed social worker ...


What About The Children? Are Family Lawyers The Same (Ethically) As Criminal Lawyers? A Morality Play, Robert H. Aronson Jan 1996

What About The Children? Are Family Lawyers The Same (Ethically) As Criminal Lawyers? A Morality Play, Robert H. Aronson

Articles

A fictional account of a lawyer, representing a woman in a divorce case, who learns from her client that her live-in boyfriend has hit her and her five-year-old daughter. Is her ethical duty to protect the child greater than her responsibility to maintain the attorney-client privilege. She discusses the matter with two evidence professors in search of a solution.


The Federal Rules Of Evidence: A Model For Improved Evidentiary Decisionmaking In Washington, Robert H. Aronson Jan 1978

The Federal Rules Of Evidence: A Model For Improved Evidentiary Decisionmaking In Washington, Robert H. Aronson

Articles

This article discusses the underlying reasons for establishing rules of evidence, defines two unavoidable conflicts encountered in attempting to effectuate the purposes for adopting such rules, suggests that the Federal Rules of Evidence help resolve these conflicts by adhering to several clearly enunciated rationales, and, finally, indicates how the Rules recognize and accommodate important new scientific and social insights on the admissibility of evidence.