The Federal Rules of Evidence

According to the Federal Rules of Evidence, hearsay, which is defined as the recounting of statements from parties other than those who originated the statement, is not allowed. Despite this provision, there are a large number of exceptions to this rule. Three of the most common are admission against interest by party opponent, present sense impression, and statements made for the purpose of medical diagnosis. One exception to the hearsay rule is phrased as admission against interest by party opponent.

(Federal rules…801d) What this means is that a witness may testify to what he or she heard a defendant say, if that statement carries probative value to the matter asserted by the party offering the testimony. In plainer terms, if a suspect admits to committing a crime to a witness, that witness’ statement regarding the words of the suspect is admissible as an exception of the hearsay rule. Additionally, such statements can be used to impeach the credibility of other witnesses who are not necessarily the suspects.

A witness may be called, for example, who heard a medical expert say that he found medical evidence to be inconclusive, if the expert had testified that it was not. A second exception to the hearsay rule is the present sense impression. (Federal rules…803) Statements made by the declarant for the purposes of articulating their state of mind or emotional or physical condition at the time the statement is made may be offered from a witness for the purpose of establishing that state of mind as a matter of fact. As an example, if a witness hears a declarant say “I’m so mad at her right now!

” the witness can testify to that statement as the declarant’s statement of their own emotional state at the time of the comment’s utterance. A third exception to the hearsay rule is the making of statements for the purpose of medical diagnosis. (Federal rules…803) As medical professionals are often too busy to appear in court to testify as to what they told a patient, and, as such disclosure is a violation of medical ethics, a witness statement, or written record, both normally inadmissible under hearsay rules, are considered an exception to that rule.

As a result, a witness testifying that a doctor told them that they had cancer would be an exception to the hearsay rule, as would a notation on a medical chart to that effect. There are a number of statements that can be offered not as proof of the matter asserted that would not qualify as hearsay under the rules of evidence. One such category is state of mind of the auditor of the statement. (Garland, n. d. ) If the statement is offered to prove that the auditor heard and reacted to it, then it is not offered to prove the matter asserted.

(Garland, n. d. )Similarly, a statement made by a declarant offering his or her state of mind when it is an obvious as a point of fact that the belief held is not true, would also count as a statement not offered to prove the matter asserted. (Garland, n. d. ) A third type of statement not offered to prove a matter asserted is a statement that is offered as evidence of the ability of the declarant to speak. (Garland, n. d.

)If, for example, it is claimed that a decalrant was unconscious, or sleeping at a given time, a witness may offer testimony of the declarant’s statements as evidence that he or she (the declarant) was awake or conscious at the time the statement was made. Work Cited The Federal Rules of Evidence (2009) Article Eight, Rules 801-807. Garland, N. (n. d. ) “An Overview Of Relevance And Hearsay: A Nine Step Analytical Guide” Retrieved April 19th, 2009 from WestLaw website: http://lawschool. westlaw. com/Garland/GarlandText. htm