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What is Hearsay

People often use the word HEARSAY, but do they really know what it means? Repeating what someone else told you is HEARSAY; does that always mean that the statement repeated can't be used in court? The answer is no, that is, sometimes repeated statements can be testified to in court and sometimes they can't. There are many Rules of Evidence concerning HEARSAY and to fully understand the law on this subject takes years of study and practice. That is because HEARSAY has numerous exceptions. To begin to understand HEARSAY, you start with the definition. 

HEARSAY is an out of court statement, repeated in court, to prove the truth of the matter asserted. In other words, the witness on the witness stand in court, is repeating some statement made by another person, and the witness is testifying about what he heard. As you can see, HEARSAY statements can cause real problems! First and foremost, the person who made the statement that is being repeated, is not in court to be seen by the jury or examined by the lawyers. No context to the HEARSAY statement is brought before the jury, which is unfair to any litigant who doubts the statement and questions it truthfulness. Second, because there are so many exceptions, some judges allow testimony that is HEARSAY and some judges don't allow the same testimony because the rules on the exceptions can be very confusing. Therefore, as you can see, any time HEARSAY testimony seeps into a trial, the effects on all of the parties including the judges, lawyers, jurors and litigants are uncertain. It has taken centuries for the laws on HEARSAY to develop and most certainly, the law will continue lo evolve in the future. 

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Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law

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Phone: 724-437-2799
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Davis & Davis Attorneys at Law

Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law