Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Opposing Counsel Trying to Introduce Printout of Statute as Exhibit

Anyone ever dealt with this? Seems like a violation of the jackiechiles03/20/17
For what purpose? The printed law is not evidence of anythin flharfh03/20/17
um, shouldn't opposing counsel ask for judicial notice of th dingbat03/20/17
Sounds like opposing counsel is an idiot. Does he really thi hankstamper03/20/17
he's going to ask our expert about it- try to say our client jackiechiles03/20/17
I'd file an objection to the ruling, just to make opposing c dingbat03/20/17
Oh, I'm doing it, there's just no caselaw that I can find on jackiechiles03/20/17
Here are a few things you can try: Best Evidence Rule. I dingbat03/20/17
Why not just object to relevance? A statute isn't evidence qport03/20/17
I can see where, used in that context, it might be relevant. flharfh03/20/17
I can as well. There are some cases where a statute might ne downwardslope03/20/17
Also, say someone is testifying that they did xyz because th superttthero03/20/17
I'll occasionally use law (cases, statutes) during a deposit midlaw03/20/17
Experts sometimes are suppose to be knowledgeable in areas o trollfeeder03/20/17
Yeah, he tried to claim it would he admissible under 803(18) jackiechiles03/20/17
I think it ultimately depends on what you are using it for. flharfh03/20/17
jackiechiles (Mar 20, 2017 - 5:04 pm)

Anyone ever dealt with this? Seems like a violation of the whole "Judge instructs on the law" thing, but I can't find a case on point.

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flharfh (Mar 20, 2017 - 5:09 pm)

For what purpose? The printed law is not evidence of anything.

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dingbat (Mar 20, 2017 - 5:11 pm)

um, shouldn't opposing counsel ask for judicial notice of the statute?
unless there's some kind of forgery or fraud going on that involves that particular printout, well, let's just say that that client needs a new lawyer

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hankstamper (Mar 20, 2017 - 5:12 pm)

Sounds like opposing counsel is an idiot. Does he really think the law does not apply unless it is admitted as an exhibit?

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jackiechiles (Mar 20, 2017 - 5:33 pm)

he's going to ask our expert about it- try to say our client violated some statutory provision in the federal laser removal regulation or something.

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dingbat (Mar 20, 2017 - 5:37 pm)

I'd file an objection to the ruling, just to make opposing counsel look like a complete idiot

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jackiechiles (Mar 20, 2017 - 5:46 pm)

Oh, I'm doing it, there's just no caselaw that I can find on it because presumably it's so obvious nobody else has tried it.

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dingbat (Mar 20, 2017 - 5:51 pm)

Here are a few things you can try:

Best Evidence Rule. Insist opposing counsel produce an official printing of the statute
Incomplete - ask for the rest of the code
Lack of Foundation - how do we know it's authentic?
Arguing the law (seriously, that's a valid objection)
Leading question, or Call for Speculation - asking the witness to interpret the law
Beyond the scope - witness is not a lawyer, and therefore not qualified to comment on the law

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qport (Mar 20, 2017 - 5:56 pm)

Why not just object to relevance? A statute isn't evidence of anything. The judge decides what law is applicable in a case, not the party.

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flharfh (Mar 20, 2017 - 6:01 pm)

I can see where, used in that context, it might be relevant. For example in a negligence per se case involving construction, I would think the applicable building code *might* be admissible.

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downwardslope (Mar 20, 2017 - 6:15 pm)

I can as well. There are some cases where a statute might need to be posted or a portion of a statute might need to be distributed. If you wanted to show that the posted statute was out of date/inaccurate, that the size of the posting was not within regulations, etc, that would be relevant.

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superttthero (Mar 20, 2017 - 6:22 pm)

Also, say someone is testifying that they did xyz because they read the statute, you may want to ask them if this is what they read.

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midlaw (Mar 20, 2017 - 7:06 pm)

I'll occasionally use law (cases, statutes) during a deposition. Never used at trial though. Can't really see the point.

Relevance, foundation, undue prejudice, even hearsay all seem like legit objections.

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trollfeeder (Mar 20, 2017 - 8:04 pm)

Experts sometimes are suppose to be knowledgeable in areas of the law, and can possibly opine as to whether something is in violation of a law, but this presumed line of questions seems like it goes to ultimate issue. If the expert is knowledgeable about the question, he would know about the applicable law anyway, and there are the already noted objections to its introduction.

This use of an exhibit is inadmissible, but more importantly, it seems like bad lawyering.

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jackiechiles (Mar 20, 2017 - 8:54 pm)

Yeah, he tried to claim it would he admissible under 803(18) learned treatise exception. Going to blast him for claiming doctors needing to consult law books to determine appropriate treatment of patients

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flharfh (Mar 20, 2017 - 9:12 pm)

I think it ultimately depends on what you are using it for. If you are defending a hospital case and plaintiff's expert says "the standard of care requires one nurse per four patients" but your state's regs say one nurse per eight patients, I think you can use the code to go after him.

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