A Guide to the Rules of Evidence in Virginia

A Guide to the Rules of Evidence in Virginia
Publication Date: 2019-2020 Edition
Available Formats: Print (204 pages, spiral-bound, 1 volume)
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Product #: 887

Information

Content Highlights:
  • General Provisions
  • Judicial Notice
  • Presumptions
  • Relevancy, Policy, and Character Trait Proof
  • Privileges
  • Witness Examination
  • Opinions and Expert Testimony
  • Hearsay
  • Authentication
  • Best Evidence
  • Applicability

"A Guide to Rules of Evidence provides a concise synthesis of Virginia's governing evidentiary principles to be used in preparation of cases and at trial. The notes accompanying each Virginia Rule of Evidence give important alerts on issues and developments, along with citations of all of the cases applying each rule."
- Kent Sinclair, author and Project Reporter for the Evidence Committee of the Boyd-Graves Conference

Conceived and developed by the Boyd-Graves Conference Evidence Committee to equip judges and attorneys with a handbook of exceptional accuracy, A Guide to Rules of Evidence provides easy access—in one place—to the principles governing evidence law in Virginia, which are embedded in 200 years of case law, numerous statutes, and the Rules of Evidence.

The text is amplified by the Evidence Committee’s notes, references to related statutes, and annotations from court decisions interpreting and applying Virginia case law. The tabbed format, table of authorities, and index provide convenient ways to quickly consult points of Virginia evidence law and procedure.

Just a few of the developments covered in the 2019-2020 edition:

  • In a prosecution for a felony sexual offense involving a child victim, prior convictions for other sexual offenses may only be excluded if the danger of unfair prejudice substantially outweighs their probative value. The trial court may consider the details of the prior convictions in determining admissibility, but only the conviction orders themselves may be received in evidence).
  • Admissibility of a protective order on issues of defendant’s access to crime scene and authority to enter premises.
  • Admissibility of cadaver dog evidence.
  • Applicability of the business records exception to records stored in file server computers owned or controlled by others, or in the “cloud.”
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Table of Contents

CHAPTER LIST

1. General Provisions
2. Judicial Notice
3. Presumptions
4. Relevancy, Policy, and Character Trait Proof
5. Privileges
6. Witness Examination
7. Opinions and Expert Testimony
8. Hearsay
9. Authentication
10. Best Evidence
11. Applicability

ARTICLE I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Rule 2:101 TITLE

Rule 2:102 SCOPE AND CONSTRUCTION OF
THESE RULES

Rule 2:103 OBJECTIONS AND PROFFERS
        (a) Admission or exclusion of evidence
        (b) Hearing of jury

Rule 2:104 PRELIMINARY DETERMINATIONS
        (a) Determinations made by the court
        (b) Relevancy conditioned on proof of connecting facts
        (c) Hearing of jury
        (d) Testimony by accused
        (e) Evidence of weight or credibility

Rule 2:105 PROOF ADMITTED FOR LIMITED
PURPOSES

Rule 2:106 REMAINDER OF A WRITING OR
RECORDED STATEMENT
        (a) Related Portions of a Writing in Civil and
        Criminal Cases
        (b) Lengthy Documents in Civil Cases

ARTICLE II. JUDICIAL NOTICE

Rule 2:201 JUDICIAL NOTICE OF ADJUDICATIVE
FACTS
        (a) Notice
        (b) Time of taking notice
        (c) Opportunity to be heard

Rule 2:202 JUDICIAL NOTICE OF LAW
        (a) Notice to Be Taken
        (b) Sources of Information

Rule 2:203 JUDICIAL NOTICE OF OFFICIAL
PUBLICATIONS

ARTICLE III. PRESUMPTIONS

Rule 2:301 PRESUMPTIONS IN GENERAL IN CIVIL
ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS

Rule 2:302 APPLICABILITY OF FEDERAL LAW
IN CIVIL ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS

ARTICLE IV. RELEVANCY, POLICY, AND CHARACTER
TRAIT PROOF


Rule 2:401 DEFINITION OF “RELEVANT EVIDENCE”

Rule 2:402 RELEVANT EVIDENCE GENERALLY
ADMISSIBLE; IRRELEVANT EVIDENCE
INADMISSIBLE
        (a) General Principle
        (b) Results of Polygraph Examinations

Rule 2:403 EXCLUSION OF RELEVANT EVIDENCE
ON GROUNDS OF PREJUDICE, CONFUSION,
MISLEADING THE JURY, OR NEEDLESS
PRESENTATION OF CUMULATIVE EVIDENCE

Rule 2:404 CHARACTER EVIDENCE NOT
ADMISSIBLE TO PROVE CONDUCT;
EXCEPTIONS; OTHER CRIMES
        (a) Character evidence generally
        (b) Other crimes, wrongs, or acts

Rule 2:405 METHODS OF PROVING CHARACTER
TRAITS
        (a) Reputation proof
        (b) Specific instances of conduct
    
Rule 2:406 HABIT AND ROUTINE PRACTICE IN
CIVIL CASES
        (a) Admissibility
        (b) Habit and routine practice defined

Rule 2:407 SUBSEQUENT REMEDIAL MEASURES

Rule 2:408 COMPROMISE OFFERS AND CONDUCT
OR STATEMENTS DURING NEGOTIATIONS
        (a) Prohibited uses
        (b) Exceptions
        (c) Pre-existing documents or physical evidence

Rule 2:409 EVIDENCE OF ABUSE ADMISSIBLE
IN CERTAIN CRIMINAL TRIALS

Rule 2:410 WITHDRAWN PLEAS, OFFERS TO
PLEAD, AND RELATED STATEMENTS

Rule 2:411 INSURANCE

Rule 2:412 ADMISSIBILITY OF COMPLAINING
WITNESS’ PRIOR SEXUAL CONDUCT;
CRIMINAL SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES;
RELEVANCE OF PAST BEHAVIOR

Rule 2:413 EVIDENCE OF SIMILAR CRIMES IN
CHILD SEXUAL OFFENSE CASES

ARTICLE V. PRIVILEGES

Rule 2:501 PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS

Rule 2:502 ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE

Rule 2:503 CLERGY AND COMMUNICANT PRIVILEGE

Rule 2:504 SPOUSAL TESTIMONY AND MARITAL
COMMUNICATIONS PRIVILEGES
        (a) Privileged Marital Communications in Civil Cases
        (b) Testimony of Husband and Wife in Criminal Cases

Rule 2:505 HEALING ARTS PRACTITIONER
AND PATIENT PRIVILEGE

Rule 2:506 MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL
AND CLIENT PRIVILEGE

Rule 2:507 PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS
INVOLVING INTERPRETERS

ARTICLE VI. WITNESS EXAMINATION

Rule 2:601 GENERAL RULE OF COMPETENCY
        (a) Generally
        (b) Rulings

Rule 2:602 LACK OF PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE

Rule 2:603 OATH OR AFFIRMATION

Rule 2:604 INTERPRETERS

Rule 2:605 COMPETENCY OF COURT PERSONNEL
AS WITNESSES

Rule 2:606 JUROR’S COMPETENCY AS A WITNESS
        (a) At the trial
        (b) During an Inquiry into the Validity
        of a Verdict or Indictment

Rule 2:607 IMPEACHMENT OF WITNESSES
        (a) In general
        (b) Witness with adverse interest
        (c) Witness proving adverse

Rule 2:608 IMPEACHMENT BY EVIDENCE OF
REPUTATION FOR TRUTHTELLING AND
CONDUCT OF WITNESS
        (a) Reputation evidence of the character trait for
        truthfulness or untruthfulness
        (b) Specific instances of conduct; extrinsic proof
        (c) Cross-examination of character witness
        (d) Unadjudicated perjury
        (e) Prior false accusations in sexual assault cases
    
Rule 2:609 IMPEACHMENT BY EVIDENCE OF
CONVICTION OF CRIME
        (a) Party in a civil case or criminal defendant
        (b) Other witnesses
        (c) Juvenile adjudications
        (d) Adverse Witnesses

Rule 2:610 BIAS OR PREJUDICE OF A WITNESS

Rule 2:611 MODE AND ORDER OF INTERROGATION
AND PRESENTATION
        (a) Presentation of evidence
        (b) Scope of cross-examination
        (c) Leading questions

Rule 2:612 WRITING OR OBJECT USED TO
REFRESH MEMORY

Rule 2:613 PRIOR STATEMENTS OF WITNESS
        (a) Examining witness concerning prior oral statement
        (b) Contradiction by prior inconsistent writing

Rule 2:614 CALLING AND INTERROGATION OF
WITNESSES BY COURT
        (a) Calling by the court in civil cases
        (b) Interrogation by the court

Rule 2:615 EXCLUSION OF WITNESSES

ARTICLE VII. OPINIONS AND EXPERT TESTIMONY

Rule 2:701 OPINION TESTIMONY BY LAY WITNESSES

Rule 2:702 TESTIMONY BY EXPERTS
        (a) Use of Expert Testimony
        (b) Form of opinion

Rule 2:703 BASIS OF EXPERT TESTIMONY
        (a) Civil cases
        (b) Criminal cases

Rule 2:704 OPINION ON ULTIMATE ISSUE
        (a) Civil cases
        (b) Criminal cases

Rule 2:705 FACTS OR DATA USED IN TESTIMONY
        (a) Civil cases
        (b) Criminal cases

Rule 2:706 USE OF LEARNED TREATISES
WITH EXPERTS
        (a) Civil cases
        (b) Criminal cases

ARTICLE VIII. HEARSAY

Rule 2:801 DEFINITIONS
        (a) Statement
        (b) Declarant
        (c) Hearsay
        (d) Prior statements

Rule 2:802 HEARSAY RULE

Rule 2:803 HEARSAY EXCEPTIONS APPLICABLE
REGARDLESS OF AVAILABILITY OF THE
DECLARANT
        (0) Admission by party opponent
        (1) Present sense impression
        (2) Excited utterance
        (3) Then existing mental, emotional, or
        physical condition
        (4) Statements for purposes of medical treatment
        (5) Recorded recollection
        (6) Records of a Regularly Conducted Activity
        (7) Reserved
        (8) Public records and reports
        (9) Records of vital statistics
        (10) Absence of entries in public records and reports
        (11) Records of religious organizations
        (12) Marriage, baptismal, and similar certificates
        (13) Family records
        (14) Records of documents affecting an interest in
        property
        (15) Statements in documents affecting an interest
        in property
        (16) Statements in ancient documents
        (17) Market quotations
        (18) Learned treatises
        (19) Reputation concerning boundaries
        (20) Reputation as to a character trait
        (21) Judgment as to personal, family, or general
        history, or boundaries
        (22) Statement of identification by witness
        (23) Recent complaint of sexual assault
        (24) Price of goods

Rule 2:803.1 STATEMENTS BY CHILD DESCRIBING
ACTS RELATING TO OFFENSE AGAINST
CHILDREN

Rule 2:804 HEARSAY EXCEPTIONS APPLICABLE
WHERE THE DECLARANT IS UNAVAILABLE
        (a) Applicability
        (b) Hearsay exceptions

Rule 2:805 HEARSAY WITHIN HEARSAY

Rule 2:806 ATTACKING AND SUPPORTING
CREDIBILITY OF HEARSAY DECLARANT

ARTICLE IX. AUTHENTICATION

Rule 2:901 REQUIREMENT OF AUTHENTICATION
OR IDENTIFICATION

Rule 2:902 SELF-AUTHENTICATION
        (1) Domestic public records offered in
        compliance with statute
        (2) Foreign public documents
        (3) Presumptions created by law
        (4) Medical records and medical bills in
        particular actions
        (5) Specific certificates of analysis and reports
        (6) Certified records of a regularly conducted activity

Rule 2:903 SUBSCRIBING WITNESS TESTIMONY
NOT NECESSARY

ARTICLE X. BEST EVIDENCE

Rule 2:1001 DEFINITIONS
        (1) Writings
        (2) Original

Rule 2:1002 REQUIREMENT OF PRODUCTION
OF ORIGINAL

Rule 2:1003 USE OF SUBSTITUTE CHECKS
        (a) Admissibility generally
        (b) Presumption from designation and legend

Rule 2:1004 ADMISSIBILITY OF OTHER EVIDENCE
OF CONTENTS
        (a) Originals lost or destroyed
        (b) Original not obtainable
        (c) Original in possession of opponent
        (d) Collateral matters

Rule 2:1005 ADMISSIBILITY OF COPIES

Rule 2:1006 SUMMARIES

Rule 2:1007 TESTIMONY OR WRITTEN ADMISSION
OF A PARTY

Rule 2:1008 FUNCTIONS OF COURT AND JURY

ARTICLE XI. APPLICABILITY

Rule 2:1101 APPLICABILITY OF EVIDENTIARY
RULES
        (a) Proceedings to which applicable generally
        (b) Law of privilege
        (c) Permissive application


Authors

Professor Kent Sinclair
Project Reporter for the Evidence Committee
University of Virginia School of Law

and

Members of the Evidence Committee of the
Boyd-Graves Conference:
W. Coleman Allen, Esq.
Hon. D. Arthur Kelsey
John D. McGavin, Esq.
Monica T. Monday, Esq.
Sona Rewari, Esq.
Hon. Deanis Simmons
Hon. James Willett
Thomas W. Williamson, Jr.
Catherine French Zagurskie, Esq.
R. Lee Livingston, Esq., Chair

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