Capsules 11-15: The Hearsay Rule

Capsules 11-15 cover one of the most complex rules of evidence in the common law world: the hearsay rule.  Capsule 11 introduces the rule and explains what it is designed to do, while also beginning to set out “what” constitutes hearsay evidence.  Capsule 12 covers difficult applications of the rule.  Capsule 13 begins covering the myriad of exceptions to the rule, setting out the framework for dealing with exceptions and addressing the most important common law ones: admissions by a party and res gestae.  Capsule 14 covers four major exceptions, while Capsule 15 addresses the principled exception to the rule and looks at how it operates.

In addition to these five capsules, I’ve created a Supplemental Evidence Capsule (which means it is only Recommended, rather than Required, for my Evidence Students) on the Co-Conspirator’s Exception to the Hearsay Rule.

As always, a few caveats!

  1. Needless to say, this is not legal advice.  It is designed to provide introductory explanations of certain topics in the law of evidence.
  2. These materials were designed for my students taking part in the Flipped Classroom – as such they are NOT supposed to be comprehensive or exhaustive of the subject.
  3. They were made with time constraints in mind.  There are errors throughout, and though I feel confident about the product generally, I did not attempt to correct every mistake made.  The goal was to put a good product together in a short period of time.
  4. Often, in the interests of time, certain points are generalized.  This doesn’t mean they’re “wrong”, but nuances are often fleshed out in the course materials or in class.  Rather than include caveats with every sentence, I sometimes make broad generalizations even though I’m aware there might be exceptions that can occasionally arise.  Again, the goal is to promote a generalized understanding that provides a platform for deeper learning.
  5. I will heartily disavow any attempt to rely upon these in conflict with another Professor, judge, lawyer, etc.  Thus, anyone who says “yes, but Professor Sankoff said X”… will receive no support from me!  Especially where exams are concerned, it is always good practice to follow your Professor’s view of the law.  If this material helps you, by all means use it, but do so with care.

Capsule 11 – Introduction to the Hearsay Rule

Capsule 12 – Defining Hearsay: Difficult Applications

Capsule 13 – Exceptions: Framework, Admissions and Res Gestae

For further discussion on the admissions exception, focusing upon the burden of proving that the exception applies where the defendant disputes having made the statement, check out this video blog.

Capsule 14 – Major Common Law and Statutory Exceptions

Capsule 15 – The Principled Exception

For a little bit more on the Principled Exception, see this Video Blog that examines when these same principles demand that hearsay falling into a traditional exception nevertheless be excluded.

4 thoughts on “Capsules 11-15: The Hearsay Rule

  1. I’m a law student at uCalgary. I love this podcast and it has been an amazing supplement – great examples.

  2. Hi, I am a NCA student and I found your evedience capsules very very helpful.
    I like your way of teaching, just awesome.
    Thank you

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