October 15, 2013 Articles

Hearsay and Federal Rule of Evidence 801

The definition of hearsay is fairly straightforward, but there are so many exceptions that they start to subsume the definition.

By Hon. Pam Pepper

Sometimes it seems that there is no more pesky, confusing issue in the world of evidence than hearsay. The definition of hearsay is fairly straightforward, but there are so many exceptions and exclusions that they start to subsume that definition fairly quickly. And let’s face it—hearsay evidence often is really good evidence, and it is extremely frustrating to try to introduce your most smoky gun, only to have your opponent shout, “Objection—hearsay!” Knowledge of the hearsay rules goes a long way toward mitigating that frustration.

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