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Objection, Your Honor: Hearsay in State and Federal Court - Texas Lawyer

Texas Lawyer
09.26.11

In "The Evidence Rules Every New Trial Lawyer Should Know," a recent article for the American Bar Association Litigation Section, 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Joseph Greenaway Jr. begins with this thought: "The definition of hearsay is straightforward."

Objection, your honor; no foundation - not in the abstract, not in the Federal Rules of Evidence and most definitely not in Texas.

What new (and old) trial lawyers should know is that the definition of hearsay in Texas is complex. And complexity in the rules of evidence creates opportunities for effective advocacy, as it does in every other area of the law. To really see why, let's look at the Delaware Supreme Court's opinion in Capano v. State (2001).

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