This year featured a number of interesting developments with respect to federal evidence practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, as well as a number of subtle changes to evidence standards. While the biggest changes were to criminal practice, the cases discussed below also impact civil practitioners. Among other things, the United States Supreme Court adopted a change to Federal Rule of Evidence 804(b); the Fifth Circuit clarified two important Confrontation Clause issues, revised the test for excluding settlement communications evidence, and addressed a number of civil claim-specific evidence issues, ranging from sexual harassment to products liability to medical malpractice.
Republished with permission. 43 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 989 (2010).Download PDF