Chart-Relevance by changcheng2



Rule    Description                 Definition                                               Comments                                                                   Cases   Hypos
401     Relevancy                   Evidence having any tendency to make the existence       Conditional Relevancy (see 104) is where probative value depends upon
                                    of any fact that is of consequence to the                definition + the existence of some other fact. Example: If evidence of
        (Relevancy Defined)         determination of the action more probable or less        a spoken statement is relied upon to prove notice, probative value is
                                    probable than it would be without the evidence.          lacking unless the person sought to be charged heard the statement.
402     Relevancy                   All relevant evidence is admissible, except as
                                    otherwise provided by the Constitution of the United
        (Relevant Evidence          States, by Act of Congress, by these rules, or by
        Admissible; Irrelevant      other rules prescribed by the Supreme Court
        Evidence Inadmissible)      pursuant to statutory authority. Evidence which is
                                    not relevant is not admissible.
403     Relevancy                   Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if its       Unfair Surprise is not enumerated in this rule. Under common law and in
                                    probative value is substantially outweighed by the       some states (not CA), unfair surprise coupled with the danger of
        (Exclusion Of Relevant      danger of:                                               prejudice and confusion is grounds for exclusion. Granting a continuance
        Evidence On Grounds Of          A)   Unfair Prejudice                                is a better solution.
        Prejudice, Confusion, Or        B)   Confusion of the Issues
        Waste Of Time)                  C)   Misleading the Jury                                                       Factors to Consider
                                        D)   Undue Delay                                     In granting a 403 exclusion, the judge should consider:
                                        E)   Waste of Time                                   A) Effectiveness of the evidence; and
                                        F)   Needless Presentation of Cumulative             B) Availability of other means of proof
601     Competency                  Every person is competent to be a witness except as      A) This rule eliminates the common law competency exceptions based
                                    otherwise provided in these rules. However, in civil        on:
        (General Rule of            actions and proceedings, with respect to an element         1) Religion (see 610),
        Competency)                 of a claim or defense as to which State law supplies        2) Conviction of a crime (see 609),
                                    the rule of decision, the competency of a witness           3) Connection with the litigation as a party, interested person, or
                                    shall be determined in accordance with State law.               spouse (see 505) of either.
                                                                                             B) No mental or moral qualifications for testifying as a witness are
                                                                                                specified. Usually based on witness’s truthfulness.
                                                                                             C) Exception: Dead Man’s Acts
602     Competency                  A witness may not testify to a matter unless
                                    evidence is introduced sufficient to support a finding
        (Lack of Personal           that the witness has personal knowledge of the
        Knowledge)                  matter. Evidence to prove personal knowledge may,
                                    but need not, consist of the witness’ own testimony.
                                    This rule is subject to the provisions of rule 703,
                                    relating to opinion testimony by expert witnesses.
603     Competency                  Before testifying, every witness shall be required to
                                    declare that the witness will testify truthfully, by
        (Oath or Affirmation)       oath or affirmation administered in a form calculated
                                    to awaken the witness’ conscience and impress the
                                    witness’ mind with the duty to do so.

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*Page numbers are keyed to Evidence Cases & Materials, 9th Ed. Waltz & Park                                                                                                         Page 1 of 4

Rule    Description                 Definition                                                Comments                                                                   Cases   Hypos
604     Competency                  An interpreter is subject to the provisions of these
                                    rules relating to qualification as an expert and the
        (Interpreters)              administration of an oath or affirmation to make a
                                    true translation.
605     Competency                  The judge presiding at the trial may not testify in
                                    that trial as a witness. No objection need be made in
        (Competency of Judge as     order to preserve the point.
606     Competency                  A) At the Trial. A member of the jury may not             A) Objection must be made in order to preserve the point because the
                                       testify as a witness before that jury in the trial        judge in such a situation will not be so close to the matter as he
        (Competency of Juror as        of the case in which the juror is sitting. If the         would be in the event that he or she were called to testify.
        Witness)                       juror is called so to testify, the opposing shall be   B) Much disagreement over the threshold for requiring juror testimony
                                       afforded an opportunity to object out of the              regarding juror misconduct or the validity of a verdict or
                                       presence of the jury.                                     indictment.
                                    B) Inquiry into validity of verdict or indictment.           1) Reasons to exclude juror testimony:
                                       Upon an inquiry into the validity of a verdict or         2) Freedom of Deliberation
                                       indictment, a juror may not testify as to any             3) Stability and Finality of Verdicts
                                       matter or statement occurring during the course           4) Protection of Jurors Against Annoyance and Embarrassment
                                       of the jury’s deliberations or to the effect of
                                                                                                 5) Reasons to include juror testimony:
                                       anything upon that or any other juror’s mind or
                                       emotions as influencing the juror to assent to or         6) Simply putting verdicts beyond effective reach can only promote
                                       dissent from the verdict or indictment or                    irregularity and injustice.
                                       concerning the juror’s mental processes in                7) Substantial authority refuses to allow a juror to disclose
                                       connection therewith, except that a juror may                irregularities which occur in the jury room, but allows his
                                       testify on the question whether extraneous                   testimony as to irregularities occurring outside; and
                                       prejudicial information was improperly brought to         8) allows outsiders to testify as to occurrences both inside and out.
                                       the jury’s attention or whether any outside               9) OK to for a juror to testify about juror misconduct or quotient
                                       influence was improperly brought to bear upon                verdict.
                                       any juror. Nor may a juror’s affidavit or
                                                                                              C) This rule does not purport to specify the substantive grounds for
                                       evidence of any statement by the juror
                                                                                                 setting aside verdicts for irregularity; it deals only with the
                                       concerning a matter about which the juror would
                                                                                                 competency of jurors to testify concerning those grounds.
                                       be precluded from testifying be received for
                                       these purposes.

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*Page numbers are keyed to Evidence Cases & Materials, 9th Ed. Waltz & Park                                                                                                          Page 2 of 4

Rule    Description                 Definition                                               Comments                                                                      Cases                                      Hypos
104     Preliminary Questions       A) Questions of Admissibility Generally. The             A) Questions of Admissibility Generally.                                      4. In some situations, the relevancy
                                       following preliminary questions are to be                                                                                              of an item of evidence, in the
                                                                                             1.   The applicability of a particular rule of evidence often depends upon
                                       determined by the court subject to the                                                                                                 large sense, depends upon the
                                                                                                  the existence of a condition. The judge decides these issues. To
                                       provisions of B) below:                                                                                                                existence of a particular
                                                                                                  the extent that the s inquiries are factual, the judge acts as a trier
                                       1) Questions concerning the qualification of a                                                                                         preliminary fact. In such
                                                                                                  of fact. Example issues that the judge would decide:
                                           person to be a witness;                                                                                                            instances, the judge makes a
                                       2) The existence of a privilege; or                        1.1. Is the alleged expert a qualified physician?                           preliminary determination
                                       3) The admissibility of evidence                           1.2. Is a witness whose former testimony is offered unavailable?            whether the foundation evidence
                                    B) Relevancy Conditioned On Fact. When the                    1.3. Was a stranger present during a conversation between attorney          is sufficient to support a finding
                                       relevancy of evidence depends upon the                          and client?                                                            of fulfillment of the condition. If
                                       fulfillment of a condition of fact, the court shall   2. Often, however, rulings on evidence call for an evaluation in terms of        so, the item is admitted. If after
                                       admit it upon, or subject to, the introduction of        a legally set standard. These decisions, too, are made by the judge.          all the evidence on the issue is in,
                                       evidence sufficient to support a finding of the                                                                                        pro and con, the jury could
                                                                                                  2.1. When a hearsay statement is offered as a declaration against
                                       fulfillment of the condition.                                                                                                          reasonably conclude that
                                                                                                       interest, a decision must be made whether it possesses the
                                    C) Hearing Of Jury. Hearings on the admissibility                                                                                         fulfillment of the condition is not
                                                                                                       required against-interest characteristics.
                                       of confessions shall in all cases be conducted out                                                                                     established, the issue is for them.
                                       of the hearing of the jury. Hearings on other         3.    If the question is factual in nature, the judge will of necessity          If the evidence is not such as to
                                       preliminary matters shall be so conducted when             receive evidence pro and con on the issue. The rule provides that           allow a finding, the judge
                                       the interests of justice require, or when an               the rules of evidence in general do not apply to this process.              withdraws the matter from their
                                       accused is a witness and so requests.                      Examples:                                                                   consideration. Examples:
                                    D) Testimony By Accused. The accused does not, by             3.1. The content of an asserted statement against interest must be          4.1. When a spoken statement is
                                       testifying upon a preliminary matter, become                    considered in ruling whether it is against interest.                         relied upon to prove notice to
                                       subject to cross-examination as to other issues            3.2. Testimony of a child is used to determine competency.                        X, it is without probative
                                       in the case.                                                                                                                                 value unless X heard it.
                                                                                                  3.3. The requirement of Rule 602 dealing with personal knowledge.
                                    E) Weight and Credibility. This rule does not limit                                                                                       4.2. Or if a letter purporting to
                                                                                                       In the case of hearsay, it is enough if, if the declarant “so far
                                       the right of a party to introduce before the jury                                                                                            be from Y is relied upon to
                                                                                                       as appears [has] had an opportunity to observe the fact
                                       evidence relevant to weight or credibility.                                                                                                  establish an admission by
                                                                                                                                                                                    him, it has no probative value
                                                                                                  3.4. The Federal Rules of Evidence, and most State rules do not
                                                                                                                                                                                    unless Y wrote or authorized
                                                                                                       specify how a judge must determine preliminary issues of fact.
                                                                                                                                                                                    it. This is different from
                                                                                                       However, New Jersey requires that “In his determination the
                                                                                                                                                                                    logical relevancy, e.g.,
                                                                                                       rules of evidence shall not apply except for Rule 4 [exclusion on
                                                                                                                                                                                    evidence in a murder case
                                                                                                       grounds of confusion , etc.] or a valid claim of privilege.
                                                                                                                                                                                    that accused on the day
                                                                                                                                                                                    before purchased a weapon
                                                                                                                                                                                    of the kind used in the killing
                                                                                                                                                                                    are treated in Rule 401.
                                                                                                                                                                           5. Preliminary hearings on the
                                                                                                                                                                              admissibility of confessions must
                                                                                                                                                                              be conducted outside the hearing
                                                                                                                                                                              of the jury.

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