HEARSAY.................by Steve Duhl 
Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 09:56 AM
Posted by Administrator
I was quite surprised, yesterday. Here is what happened:

At a Domestic Violence---throw my client out of the house---hearing, the other lawyer asked her client:

"Who did your husband call at your place of employment?"

Since this question was likely going to be answered based on what her fellow workers told her, the question asked for hearsay. That it, the question was designed to find out what she supposedly heard other people say...and the people were not in court to testify and be subject to cross examation by me. So, I objected:

"Objection, calls for hearsay.", I said.

And the Judge said "You think that 'hearsay' is an objection?"

And I said "It is up to you whether it is."

And, so, I guess I found out that in Domestic Violence hearings, hearsay is okay as long as it doesn't provide a substantial part of the foundation for the court's determination.

Does this change anything at all? Does it matter that I didn't know that the dumb-ass legislature had changed a rule that has served us well in keeping evidence reliable and believable...a rule that has been around since the English were in the dark ages (most of our law comes from England?

No, for two reasons:

1) It is muscle memory to object. When you are about to hear hearsay, you object. You don't think about possible exeptions. That is the Judge's job..or the job of the lawyer on the other side who is grying to get the hearsay in. Calls for hearsay? You jump.
2) Objecting to hearsay...even if your objection is overruled, reminds the Judge that he or she is about to hear a bunch of crap. ...what the witness says that someone told them. How easy is it to make that up?
3) When it is your turn to present evidence, you are going to ask for hearsay if you need it to prove your case. So, why trouble yourself too much about the actual rule?

OK, that's three reasons.

When it was my turn to put on evidence, I asked my client what his friend's friend said she saw the wife do a few weeks before.

The other lawyer said "Objection, hearsay."

And the Judge said..... You already know what the Judge said.
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