Evidence: Testimonial Evidence: Witnesses: Impeachment: Bias, Interest or Motive to Misrepresent

    • Bias, Interest or Motive to Misrepresent – A relationship between the witness and a party – or some other interest in the outcome of the litigation that could cause the witness to lie.
      • Examples of biased witnesses—the witness is:
        • A party
        • A friend, relative, or employee of a party
        • Someone paid by a party
        • Someone with a grudge against a party
        • Anyone who has something to gain by the outcome of the suit
      • Foundation for extrinsic evidence: Before a witness can be impeached by extrinsic evidence of bias or interest, he must first be asked about the facts that show bias or interest on cross examination.
*** Watch for facts indicating that the foundation requirement for extrinsic evidence of bias or interest has been fulfilled. Evidence that is otherwise inadmissible (e.g. arrests, liability insurance) may be introduced if relevant for these impeachment purposes, provided the proper foundation is laid. ***