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Impeaching a Hearsay Declarant Who Does Not Appear in Court – Arthur Best

May 4th, 2010 · 1 Comment · All Posts, Evidence, Lawdibles Audio

Professor Arthur BestHow can an opponent impeach a hearsay declarant, when the declarant does not appear in court? Find out in this Lawdible.

When hearsay is introduced against a party, that party may impeach the Declarant using any techniques that could be used against a witness who testifies live in court. For example, evidence of past convictions related to truth-telling may be introduced, to show that jury that the declarant has a character trait of untruthfulness. Similarly, opinion and reputation evidence about that character are admissible.  Proof of bias in any form can be introduced to show that the declarant may have had a motive to shade his or her statements in a particular direction.

With regard to inquiring about past bad acts relevant to truth-telling, that technique can be used against a live-in-court witness, but probably cannot be used where a hearsay declarant is sought to be impeached, since the declarant is not on the witness stand to hear and answer a question about his or her past acts.

Here’s Professor Best’s faculty bio.

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