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California Evidentiary Foundations
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

1-9 California Evidentiary Foundations 9.syn


The Hearsay Rule and Its Exceptions


Edward J. Imwinkelried;; and Thomas J. Leach

Chapter Summary


This chapter, from California Evidentiary Foundations, covers the exclusion of hearsay evidence and the exceptions to the general rule. It defines the concept of hearsay and the foundational elements of attempting to introduce a nonassertive statement as outside the rule. The chapter also covers the issues regarding out-of-court declarations, the relevance of state of mind, and admissions of a party-opponent, with illustrative transcripts contained within the discussion.

The chapter provides detailed coverage of the exceptions to the hearsay rule, with specific coverage of exceptions that do not require unavailability: business entries, official records, past recollection recorded, present recollection refreshed, learned treatises, judgments, spontaneous or excited utterances, contemporaneous statements, declarations of present state of mind or emotion, declarations of present body condition, and statements of child victims. It also provides detailed coverage of exceptions that require unavailability: former testimony, sworn statements regarding gang-related crimes, declarations against interest, dying declarations, declarations of past bodily, mental, or emotional condition, statements about a declarant's will, statements by victims of physical abuse, statements by victims of elder abuse, and the forfeiture-by-wrongdoing exception.

Finally, the chapter includes residual hearsay exceptions, including a list of miscellaneous exceptions in the Evidence Code, along with the child dependency exception.

California Evidentiary Foundations (Matthew Bender) organizes the abstract principles of evidence into concise statements and illustrates their uses with sample transcripts of the elements being applied in the courtroom. It helps civil and criminal practitioners focus the case around a theme and understand the theories behind proving up evidence. The manual covers such topics as offers of proof, objections, witness competency, relevance, opinion evidence, hearsay, and privileges. It also includes complete references to the California Evidence Code, key cases, legislative history, and citations to secondary authorities.


California,hearsay,nonassertive statement,official records,past recollection recorded,present recollection refreshed,learned treatises,spontaneous utterance,excited utterance,contemporaneous statement,present state of mind or emotion,present body condition,former testimony,gang-related crimes,declarations against interest,dying declarations,declarations of past bodily, mental, or emotional condition,child dependency exception


The rules and strategies employed when determining the competency of a witness to testify at trial are covered in Chapter 3, The Competency of Witnesses.

Satisfaction of the test for relevancy of evidence, along with the way in which a physical exhibit is authenticated, are discussed in Chapter 4, Logical Relevance; Personal Knowledge and Authentication.

The issues surrounding the credibility of witnesses and the circumstances under which a court will allow evidence in support of a witness or for impeachment purposes is covered in Chapter 5, Limitations on Credibility Evidence.

The rules, along with practical tips, for the admission of lay opinion and expert opinion testimony at trial are provided in Chapter 8, Opinion Evidence.


See Cotchett, California Courtroom Evidence (Matthew Bender) for the complete updated California Evidence Code, legislative history on each section, Law Revision Commission comments on most sections, insightful case annotations, and practical pointers on evidentiary matters.

For fast, accurate answers to evidentiary questions during courtroom use, as well as coverage of the California Evidence Code and California evidence case law, see California Evidence Courtroom Manual (Matthew Bender)

See Courtroom Criminal Evidence (Matthew Bender) for coverage of the rules governing admissibility and sufficiency of evidence, along with the latest developments in evidence law, including issues posed by the attempted introduction of fax and email, scientific evidence, and polygraph evidence, in criminal matters.

For substantive and procedural guidance regarding evidentiary issues encountered throughout the trial process, including alternative actions before and during trial, jury selection, and motions and objections relating to direct and cross-examination, see California Trial Guide (Matthew Bender).

See Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence (Matthew Bender) for the relevant case law regarding the admissibility of expert testimony in general, an explanation of scientific analysis, and detailed treatments of particular types of scientific evidence, such as statistics and survey research, epidemiology and toxicology, and DNA evidence.
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