Evidence: Procedural Considerations

Procedural Considerations – Dividing responsibility between the judge and the jury.

  • Burdens of Proof: After all of the evidence is in, it is up to the jury to decide whether the burden of proof has been met for each element of the charge, claim, or defense.
    • Std. in civil cases: preponderance of the evidence
    • Std. in criminal cases: beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Preliminary Facts:
    • Preliminary Facts for the Jury:
      • Jury: Decides questions of conditional relevance:
        • Whether a witness has personal knowledge
        • Whether an exhibit is authentic
        • Whether the defendant is in fact the person who committed a prior bad act offered as MIMIC evidence
      • Judge: Ensures that there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to conclude that the conditional fact is true.
    • The judge decides questions of admissibility: (For these questions, the burden of proof is preponderance of the evidence, and the judge may consider anything).
      • Whether testimony is hearsay
      • Whether a communication is privileged
      • Whether an expert is qualified.