Practical Advice: Evidence Admissibility and Foundations in Virginia (On Demand Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Designation Credit: 2.0 Trial Practice/Litigation (Designations Information)
VIDC Re-Certification Credit: 2.0 Misdeameanor/Felony (VIDC Information)
Price: $149 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 11/30/2025


A pre-recorded streaming VIDEO replay of the February 2023 webcast, Practical Advice: Evidence Admissibility and Foundations in Virginia.

Course Outline

  • Explore major evidentiary issues in civil and criminal trials
  • Understand the rules most encountered at trial and how best to employ them

Many factors can affect the outcome of a case, but often it comes down to the evidence, or more specifically, the rules of evidence. Knowing the rules is essential to counsel’s ability to assess the value of a case, form pretrial strategies, and present your client’s case to a judge or jury. That is why trial lawyers develop a playbook for admitting evidence and laying foundations. These valuable strategies should be second nature to any litigator. This program focuses on the most common techniques that every lawyer should be able to use effectively in civil and criminal cases to introduce or exclude evidence.

Topics covered

  • Hearsay—what does it mean to say evidence is not “offered for the truth,” and foundations supporting the common exceptions
  • Laying an evidentiary foundation with witnesses
  • Foundations for impeachment of a witness
  • How to bolster your own witness before impeachment
  • How to get an email or text message into evidence without calling someone from a cell phone company or email service to testify
  • Foundations for expert witness testimony
  • Authentication of business writings
  • Authentication of oral statements such as: testimony by voice print or sound spectrography expert, caller identification, lay opinion testimony of a witness familiar with the speaker's voice, and the telephone directory doctrine
  • Laying a foundation for the admissibility of voice recordings
  • Options when evidence is excluded
  • How to challenge your opponent’s lack of proper foundation with voir dire of a witness and a motion to strike


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James Abrenio, Abrenio Law / Fairfax

James Abrenio completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia and earned his law degree from Syracuse University College of Law. Since finishing school, in 2008, he has been a trial attorney in Northern Virginia, practicing criminal defense and personal injury. Currently, Mr. Abrenio owns his own law firm, Abrenio Law. Prior to that, he worked at two private firms and served as an Assistant Public Defender for Loudoun County.

Recently, Mr. Abrenio served as a Citizen Member for the Virginia Redistricting Commission. He was also appointed to be a Citizen Member on the Joint Subcommittee to Study Barrier Crimes & Criminal History Checks. Mr. Abrenio is a Board Member of the Asian Pacific Bar Association of Virginia. He is also a member of the 2019 Class of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.

R. Lee Livingston, Livingston Law Group, PLLC / Charlottesville

Lee Livingston practices civil litigation, personal injury law, medical malpractice, and defamation law at his firm, Livingston Law Group, PLLC. He 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 is a fellow in the Virginia Law Foundation.

Mr. Livingston 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 and 2021 Medical Malpractice, and Lawyer of the Year—2015, 2017, 2019, and 2021 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.

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