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Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Federal Rules of Evidence

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Intellectual Coherence In An Evidence Code, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 1995

Intellectual Coherence In An Evidence Code, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Federal Rules of Evidence (Federal Rules or Rules) were created in large part to promote uniformity and predictability in federal trials by providing a relatively instructive guide for judges and lawyers concerning the admissibility of evidence. As with any codification, success in this respect requires, among other things, that there be a considerable degree of intellectual coherence among the code's various provisions. The Federal Rules fall short of intellectual coherence in a number of areas. They contain contradictory and inconsistent mandates that do not make theoretical sense and therefore accord the trial judge almost unlimited discretion in these ...


Needed: A Rewrite, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 1989

Needed: A Rewrite, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Proposed far-reaching changes in the Federal Rules of Evidence are of major practical significance to every lawyer involved in the criminal justice process. The proposed changes are contained in a recent report by the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section's Rules of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Committee. The report was selected for publication in Federal Rules Decisions, 120 F.R.D. 299 (1988), because of its interest to federal practitioners and judges. More than 40 judges, lawyers, and scholars were involved in the four-year study, and experts on each particular rule acted as "reporters" to the committee on those ...


Perils Of The Rulemaking Process: The Development, Application, And Unconstitutionality Of Rule 804(B)(3)'S Penal Interest Exception, Peter W. Tague Jan 1981

Perils Of The Rulemaking Process: The Development, Application, And Unconstitutionality Of Rule 804(B)(3)'S Penal Interest Exception, Peter W. Tague

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

As the culmination of a decade of rulemaking, in 1975 Congress enacted the Federal Rules of Evidence, which include in rule 804(b)(3) an exception to the hearsay rule that allows federal courts to admit statements against penal interest. Having reviewed previously unpublished memoranda and nonpublic tape recordings of the deliberations of the Advisory and Standing Committees to the Judicial Conference and the Special Subcommittee on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws of the House Judiciary Committee, Professor Tague explores the development of rule 804(b)(3), one of the more controversial rules that emerged from that rulemaking process. After ...


The Federal Rules Of Evidence: Six Years After, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 1981

The Federal Rules Of Evidence: Six Years After, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Federal Rules of Evidence have been in effect since 1975. Six years of experience is not much time in which to assess such a complex and important body of law. Nevertheless, there is now some "evidence" of the impact of the Federal Rules on the various states and circuits.

The Rules do seem to have proved successful enough to stimulate widespread imitation. Approximately half the states in the United States have or will very shortly have evidence codes patterned substantially on the Rules, even down to their numbers. Many of the remaining states (e.g., Iowa, Illinois, and Pennsylvania ...


The Second Circuit Review--1975-76 Term: Courts-- Evidence & Procedure: Commentary: The Second Circuit And The Federal Rules Of Evidence, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 1977

The Second Circuit Review--1975-76 Term: Courts-- Evidence & Procedure: Commentary: The Second Circuit And The Federal Rules Of Evidence, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The most significant development in federal trial procedure in recent years has been the enactment of the Federal Rules of Evidence, effective July 1, 1975. In the intervening two years since the Rules became effective, the courts of the Second Circuit have bad occasion to make several illuminating applications of and references to them.

An examination of some of these decisions provides insight into the kinds of questions that are coming up not only in the Second Circuit, but around the country, and the kinds of answers that are being given. It is not the bizarre or unusual case that ...


An Evidence Code: The American Experience, Paul F. Rothstein Dec 1976

An Evidence Code: The American Experience, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Professor Paul Rothstien's opening address at the Conference on Current Trends in Evidence, Dalhousie University, 26th November 1976.

Rothstein discusses the American Evidence Code, the American experience with it, and compares it to a proposed Code that Canada is considering.