Copyright (c) 1995 University of Denver (Colorado Seminary) College of Law
Denver University Law Review
TENTH CIRCUIT SURVEY: Evidence Survey
72 Denv. U.L. Rev. 703
Richard C. Jennings
This article addresses three Survey year 1 decisions in which the Tenth Circuit affirmed lower court rulings regarding evidentiary admissions. These resolutions continue recent trends in which the Tenth Circuit has broadly interpreted federal statutes and evidence rules. These trends favor an inclusive approach to evidence admission which may aid a court or jury by providing additional testimony for their consideration. This policy, however, may unfairly prejudice the person who opposes the evidentiary admission. The circuit's approach often furthers the legislative goals and Supreme Court interpretations of federal statutes and evidence rules.
In the first case addressed, United States v. Overstreet, 2 the issue was whether federal prosecutors presented sufficient evidence to prove that a convicted felon 3 possessed a firearm that had "travelled in interstate commerce." 4 The court's decision makes it easier for federal courts to impose gun possession convictions. The second case, LWT, Inc. v. Childers, 5 determined that a person's pleadings from a prior state court action are admissible against that person in a subsequent federal court action. 6 This decision may frustrate the liberal pleading and joinder policies prescribed by the federal rules of evidence. Video animation prepared by an expert witness was admitted in the third case, Robinson v. Missouri Pacific Railroad. 7 The Tenth Circuit based its decision to admit the video on a recent Supreme Court case which expanded the role of expert witnesses by admitting relatively new scientific opinions. 8
The resolution of these cases indicates that the Tenth ...
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