Virginia's Deadman Statute: Rules (of Evidence) from the Grave (On Demand Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 1.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 1.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Designation Credit: 1.0 Trial Practice/Litigation (Designations Information)
Price: $79 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 06/30/2023


A pre-recorded streaming AUDIO replay of the June 2020 webcast, Virginia's Deadman Statute: Rules (of Evidence) from the Grave.

Course Outline

  • Learn the complexities of this unusual statute
  • Understand how its application can stop your case dead in its tracks
  • Recognize how creative advocacy can avoid the adverse application of the statute

Death or incapacity is a game changer for what or how evidence is excluded or admitted at trial. This seminar reveals how and when a surviving party can be precluded from telling their side of the story and how the words of the deceased can be admitted into evidence notwithstanding the hearsay rule. Attendees will learn of the opportunity for creative advocacy when a party cannot testify at trial.

Topics will include:

  • The history underlying Virginia’s Deadman State
  • Who is a surviving party in interest whose testimony will be precluded?
  • When will incapacity of a party block a surviving party’s testimony?
  • When is the preclusive effect of the Deadman’s Statute applied or waived?
  • What statements of a deceased party of admissible?
  • What evidence is required for corroboration?
  • Who decides whether testimony of a surviving party is corroborated-judge or jury?
  • Strategic choices when the Deadman’s Statute is in play
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R. Lee Livingston
, MichieHamlett / Charlottesville

Lee Livingston practices civil litigation, personal injury law, medical malpractice, and defamation law.  Mr. Livingston served as president of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association in 2017-2018.  He is former chair of the Virginia State Bar Litigation Section Board of Governors and the Virginia State Bar Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board.  He teaches Trial Advocacy and Professional Liability Law at the University of Virginia School of Law.  He is co-author of Evidence for the Trial Lawyer, a Matthew-Bender (Lexis) publication.  He has served on the Virginia Supreme Court’s Appellate Rules Advisory Committee and Electronic Filing Study Committee, and the Virginia Model Jury Instructions Committee.  He is a member of the Boyd-Graves Conference and chairs its evidence committee.  Mr. Livingston is listed in Best Lawyers in America and was named Lawyer of the Year—2012, Medical Malpractice, and Lawyer of the Year — 2015, 2017, and 2019, Personal Injury, Charlottesville, Virginia.  He is "AV-preeminent" rated by Martindale Hubbell and he has been honored for selection by Richmond magazine as a top 100 Virginia "Super Lawyer" and a top 50 "Super Lawyer" in Richmond, Virginia.  He was awarded the Professor W. McKinley Smiley Jr. Lighthouse Award by the Southern Trial Lawyers Association in 2019.

Thomas W. Williamson, Jr., Williamson Law LC / Richmond

Thomas Williamson’s special interest is cases involving complex medical, scientific, and engineering issues.  He has represented persons harmed by defective products, medical malpractice, serious vehicular accidents, and other wrongful conduct.  He has also tried defamation, land use, property, environmental, and civil rights cases. In addition to representing clients at trial, Mr. Williamson has had an active practice in the appellate courts.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and has served as president of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (VTLA) and the John Marshall Inn of Court, and as Chair of the Boyd Graves Conference.  Mr. Williamson was named Best Lawyers’ 2012 Richmond Medical Malpractice Lawyer—Lawyer of the Year.  He was also selected the 2009 Lawyer of the Year, Personal Injury Litigation (Virginia) by Washington DC’s Best Lawyers®. Richmond magazine selected him as the top lawyer in medical malpractice, product liability, and personal injury litigation based upon a survey of 2,000 practicing lawyers.

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