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Trial: Direct Examination: Special Challenges

This Guide, prepared by the Robert M. Spire American Inn of Court, presents resources for conducting a direct examination.

Introduction

The sources included in this section discuss the procedure for offering documents into evidence including:  admissibility of real and demonstrative evidence, admissibility of business records and the use of depositions at trial.

Business Records

1. Nebraska Revised Statutes.

a. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 27-803 – Hearsay exceptions; enumerated; availability of declarant immaterial.

b. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 27-1006 – Voluminous writings, recordings, or photographs; summaries; availability; orders.

c. Availability:  Nebraska Revised Statutes Chapter 27, Nebraska Legislature.

2. Federal Rules of Evidence.

a. Rules:

(1) Fed. R. Evid. 803 – Hearsay Exceptions; Availability of Declarant Immaterial.

(2) Fed. R. Evid. 1006 – Summaries.

(3) Availability:  Rules and Policies, United States Courts (last modified Dec. 1, 2010).

3. 2 Nebraska Practice Series, Nebraska Trials (3d ed.).

a. Description:

(1) § 23.12:  Summaries of voluminous writings, recordings or photographs.

(2) § 26.11:  Business records exception to hearsay rule:  regularly conducted activity.

(3) § 27.14:  Hearsay exceptions:  availability of declarant immaterial.

b. Availability:  Westlaw, 2 Neb. Prac., Nebraska Trials § 21:1, et seq.

4. Michael H. Dore, Forced Preservation:  Electronic Evidence and the Business Records Hearsay Exception, 11 Colum. Sci. & Tech. L. Rev. 76 (July 1, 2010)

a. Description:

(1) This article discusses the admissibility of electronic business records in light of the obligation of companies to preserve electronic records.

b. Availability:

(1) Westlaw, 11 Colum. Sci. & Tech. L. Rev. 76.

5. Adam Wolfson, “Electronic Fingerprints”:  Doing Away with the Conception of Computer-Generated Records as Hearsay, 104 Mich. L. Rev. 151 (Oct. 2005).

a. Description:

(1) This article discusses the admissibility of computer generated business records.

b. Availability:

(1) Westlaw, 104 Mich. L. Rev. 151.

6. Erik C. Olson, Issues Concerning the Admissibility in Federal Courts of Business Records Containing Opinions or Diagnoses under Federal Rule of Evidence 803(6), 4 Hastings Bus. L.J. 153 (Winter 2008).

a. Description:

(1) This article discusses the admissibility of business records containing opinions and diagnoses.

b. Availability:

(1) Westlaw, 4 Hastings Bus. L.J. 153.

Exhibits

1. Federal Rules of Evidence

a. Rules

(1) Fed. R. Evid. 402 – Relevant Evidence Generally Admissible; Irrelevant Evidence Inadmissible

(2) Fed. R. Evid. 403 – Exclusion of Relevant Evidence on Grounds of Prejudice, Confusion, or Waste of Time

(3) Availability: Rules and Policies, United States Courts (pdf, last modified, December 1, 2010)

2. 2 Nebraska Practice Series, Nebraska Trials (3d ed.)

a. Description

(1) § 26.6: Procedure for offering documents into evidence

(2) § 22.2: Admissibilty of real and demonstrative evidence

(3) Availability: Westlaw, 2 NEB. PRAC., Nebraska Trials § 21:1, et seq.

Depositions

1. Nebraska Court Rules of Discovery in Civil Cases.

a. Rules:

(1) Neb. Ct. R. §6-332 – Use of depositions in court proceedings.

b. Availability:  Supreme Court Rules, Neb. Judicial Branch (last modified June 22, 2010).

2. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

a. Rules:

(1) Fed. R. Civ. P. 32 – Using Depositions in Court Proceedings.

b. Availability:  Rules and Policies, United States Courts (last modified Dec. 1, 2010).

3. Nebraska Revised Statutes.

a. Neb. Rev. Stat. §27-801 – Definitions; statement, declarant, hearsay; statements which are not hearsay.

b. Neb. Rev. Stat. §27-804 – Hearsay exceptions; enumerated; declarant unavailable; unavailability, defined.

c. Availability:  Nebraska Revised Statutes Chapter 27, Nebraska Legislature.

4. Federal Rules of Evidence.

a. Rules:

(1) Fed. R. Evid. 801 – Statements which are not hearsay.

(2) Fed. R. Evid. 804 – Hearsay Exceptions; Declarant Unavailable.

(3) Availability:  Rules and Policies, United States Courts (last modified Dec. 1, 2010).

5. 2 Nebraska Practice Series, Nebraska Trials (3d ed.).

a. Description:

(1) § 21.1:  Use of depositions in court.

(2) § 21.3:  Use of deposition of adverse party.

(3) § 21.4:  Use of party’s own deposition.

(4) § 21.5:  Depositions by person authorized by party.

(5) § 21.6:  Offering part of deposition; rule of completeness.

(6) § 21.7:  Deposition testimony used after substitution of parties.

(7) §§ 21.8-21.12:  Hearsay considerations regarding depositions.

(8) § 21.13:  Use of deposition testimony of nonparty witness due to exceptional circumstances.

(9) § 21.14:  Use of depositions upon agreement.

(10) § 21.23:  Deposition of witnesses in criminal cases.

b. Availability:  Westlaw, 2 Neb. Prac., Nebraska Trials § 21:1, et seq.

6. Howard Bruce Klein, Use of the Deposition at Trial, 19 No. 1 Prac. Litigator 59 (Jan. 2008).

a. Description:

(1) This article highlights the five most prominent uses of depositions at trial.

b. Availability:  Westlaw, 19 No. 1 Prac. Litigator 59.

7. Jeffrey J. Kroll, Effective Use of Depositions at Trial, 30 No. 1 Litigation 47 (Fall 2003).

a. Description:

(1) This article discusses the reasons for using depositions at trial and the benefits of videotaping a deposition.

b. Availability:  Westlaw, 30 No. 1 Litigation 47.

8. Hon. Peter J. Busch, et al., Using the Deposition at Trial, Taking And Defending Depositions 2011 (May 19, 2011).

a. Description:

(1) This article is an outline of a CLE seminar given in New York and San Francisco regarding the use of depositions at trial.

b. Availability:  Westlaw, 857 PLI/Lit 243.


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