A summary of the most significant developments since publication of the 2018 update follows.
Testimony of Children
In People v Lopez (2018) 5 C5th 339, the California Supreme Court determined it was within the discretion of the trial judge to allow testimony of children aged 5 and 6 to events that occurred 18 months prior to their testimony. The defendant unsuccessfully argued that admitting the testimony was error under Evid C §702 and violated his right to due process under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. See §1.17.
Writing Used to Refresh a Witness’s Memory
A writing used by a witness solely to assist him in giving his oral testimony has no independent evidentiary value and does not need to be listed on a trial exhibit list. A writing so used is inadmissible under Evid C §702(b) except when proffered by the adverse party. See Evans v Hood Corp. (2017) 5 CA5th 1022, discussed in §1.37.
Timing on Request to Limit Admissibility of Evidence
See §6.36 for a new practice tip recommending that a party who seeks to limit the admissibility of certain evidence let the court know of its request immediately.
Past Recollection Recorded
See the note in §8.30 for a recent case analyzing whether a witness’s statement written 16 years after an event was made while the event was still fresh in the witness’s memory.
Authentication of Business Records
For a recent case discussing whether a witness possessed sufficient personal knowledge of the identity and mode of preparation of documents for the business records exception to hearsay, see §11.7.