Tuesday, January 31, 2012

MBE Fast Fact: Hearsay Exceptions

Do not jump directly to the hearsay exceptions when a fact pattern presents an out-of-court statement offered into evidence. A recent trend on the MBE is to provide facts of out of court statements that are not being offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted, and therefore do not amount to hearsay, and so the exceptions are unncessary. A few examples are legally operative facts (for example when a statement is offered to prove there was an offer in a contracts case); statements offered to show their effects on the hearer (for example a statement offered by the plaintiff to prove that the defendant was put on notice in a negligence case where negligence requires that defendant was put on notice of a given fact); and statements offered as circumstantial evidence of the declarant's state of mind (for example, a statement offered by the defendant as to something that the defendant said to show that defendant was insane, for the purposes of proving the defense of insanity.)

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