Domestic Diversions


The posts to follow in the next week address basic evidence rules and concepts. The first basic concept is Relevance (MRE/FRE 401, 402, 403, 404-412). The two basic questions are:
1. Does the evidence advance the inquiry? This means the evidence is both Material (of consequence) and Probative (tendency to make more or less probable). [The weight to be given to the evidence is separate from its admissibility.]
2. Is the probative value substantially outweighed by trial concerns (unfair prejudice, confusion of issues, misleading jury, undue delay, waste of time, needlessly cumulative)? Three common areas in which this arises are Character traits (honesty, aggressiveness, trustworthiness), Habit (extremely regular response to repeated specific situation), and Public Policies (reasons other than fault, such as subsequent remedial measures, payment/offers to pay, and liability insurance).

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