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ProveMyFloridaCase.com > Evidence (Page 6)

Importance of Laying the Appropriate Foundation for the Business Records Exception to the Hearsay Rule

As you can tell from prior postings, I love the business records exception to the hearsay rule because of its importance in civil disputes, particularly business disputes. Without the business records exception, many business records that are needed to prove a claim or defense which maybe held on a Cloud ERP would be excluded as evidence under the hearsay rule. But, with the business records exception, these important records are admissible as long as a witness lays the appropriate foundation. The reason an appropriate foundation is required is to ensure the reliability or trustworthiness of the business records before...

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Proffers / Offers of Proof when Trial Judge Precludes Evidence or Testimony from being Introduced

What is an offer of proof or evidentiary proffer?  During trial there are times where the opposing party objects to a question (testimony) and/or the introduction of evidence. If the judge sustains (or agrees with) an objection, the witness is precluded from offering testimony in response to the question and/or the evidence is excluded and deemed inadmissible.   Ouch!!  When this happens, it is important for the party trying to offer the excluded testimony or evidence to make a proffer or offer of proof in furtherance of preserving this issue for appeal. The reason a proffer or offer of proof of...

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Application of the Business Records Exception to the Hearsay Rule

Hearsay (an out-of-court statement offered at trial for the truth of the matter asserted) is inadmissible at trial. But, there are exceptions to this exclusionary hearsay rule to allow such evidence / testimony to be admissible at trial. Previously, I wrote about one exception known as the business records exception contained in Florida Statute s. 90.803. The business records exception is commonly relied on in business disputes in order to admit business records as evidence.   What if there is an appeal concerning the admissibility of evidence introduced at trial under an exception to the hearsay rule?   Standard of Appellate Review   Whether evidence is...

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Moving for a Directed Verdict and, then, a Motion to Set Aside the Verdict

  Moving for a directed verdict is a standard procedure in a jury trial.  Simply put, after the plaintiff puts on its case-in-chief (evidence supporting its claims against the defendant), the defendant moves for a directed verdict stating that even assuming all of the evidence is true and undisputed, and all inferences relating to that evidence favor the plaintiff, the plaintiff failed to prove its case as a matter of law and a jury cannot reasonably enter a verdict in favor of the plaintiff based on that evidence. See Wald v. Grainger, 64 So.3d 1201 (Fla. 2011); see also Etheredge v....

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Expert Opinion Testimony and Understanding Daubert’s Gatekeeping Test

Expert opinion testimony is an important aspect of complex civil litigation. Expert testimony assists in proving or disproving liability and damages. A credible and persuasive expert can make the difference in a case and retaining experts, generating expert opinions, and the manner in which expert opinions are presented should not be taken lightly. Regarding expert testimony, Florida Statute s. 90.702 provides: “If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact in understanding the evidence or in determining a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify about it in...

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Satisfying the Burden of Proof by a “Greater Weight of the Evidence”

  The burden of proof (or burden of persuasion) in a civil case is NOT the same “beyond a reasonable doubt” burden that the government has in convicting a criminal defendant.   The burden of proof in a civil case is a much lesser burden. Rather, the burden of proof in a civil case is often referred to as the burden to prove YOUR case by a “preponderance of the evidence” now known as the “greater weight of the evidence.” It is this “greater weight of the evidence” burden of proof that a jury will be instructed upon. The jury will be instructed that it is...

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Introducing Business Records — An Exception To Hearsay

      Business records are oftentimes introduced during trial. But, just because the record is called a “business record” does not automatically mean the record is admissible during trial. The business record still needs to be properly introduced (the foundation for the record properly laid) at trial; otherwise, the record constitutes hearsay: an out-of-court statement (written or oral) introduced to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the out-of-court statement. Thus, a business record would constitute hearsay evidence since it would most likely be introduced at trial to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the record. Florida’s Evidence Code contains...

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