RELEVANCE THE MOST BASIC ISSUE ALWAYS: • IS THE EVIDENCE RELATED?
RELEVANCE APPLICABLE STATUTES/RULES • FRE 401-403 • Evid. Code §§ 140, 210, 350-352
RELEVANCE • FRE 401: • Evidence having: • Any tendency • To make the existence of any fact • That is of consequence in the action • More or less probable • Than it would be without the evidence
RELEVANCE • Evid. Code § 140 – defines evidence • Things offered to prove the existence or non-existence of a fact • Evid. Code § 210 – defines relevant evid. • Evid. Having any tendency to prove or disprove any DISPUTED fact of consequence in the action
RELEVANCE • FRE 402 – Rule of Admissibility • All relevant evid. is admissible (except as otherwise provided by law) • Evid. Which is not relevant is not admissible
RELEVANCE • Evid. Code § 350 • Only relevant evidence is admissible • Evid. Code § 351 • All relevant evidence is admissible (except as otherwise provided by law)
RELEVANCE • WEIGHING – Probative v. Prejudice • True battleground on issues of relevance
RELEVANCE • Court may exclude relevant evidence if: Probative value is substantially outweighed by: • Unfair prejudice; or • Undue consumption of time; or • Confusing the issues; or • Misleading the jury • FRE 403 & Evid. Code § 352
RELEVANCE • Concept of Materiality • The evid. is directed at a proposition that is properly provable in the action • Materiality is framed by the pleadings and the controlling law
RELEVANCE • HYPO # 1 – Assault case • A beats up B and is charged with assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury • Are any of these factors material: • Victim’s age, gender, size, ethnicity, sobriety • Same factors for defendant • Are these factors Relevant? Material?
RELEVANCE • Hypo # 2: Mehserle case • Officer’s history of violence, racial animosity, criminal history, fatherhood • Victim’s history of violence, police animosity, criminal history, fatherhood • Is this type of evidence relevant? Is it material?
RELEVANCE • HYPO #3 • MURDER IN SEPTEMBER – 2 Defendants • In January 2nd defendant arrested with a gun • Gun is not one of the murder weapons • Is this fact relevant? • Is this fact Material?
RELEVANCE • HYPO #4 • DV event occurs in March – GF catches BF in bed with another woman: she attacks him and then he beats her more than necessary to defend himself • Both parties want to put in evidence re: key, which in turn requires evidence of nature of relationship • Relevant? Material?
RELEVANCE • HYPO #5 • Homicide in April – GF kills BF – claims gun accidentally discharged/his presence unknown • She say argued earlier over kiss IFO 10 yr old • Prior Halloween costume in car photos • Relevant? • Material?