Hearsay in People v. Trump
Dave Sugden explains how a hearsay issue came up in the People v. Donald Trump et al. case pending in New York.
Are Medical Records Admissible?
Dave Sugden examines the evidentiary issues when dealing with medical records.
Steven Tyler and Party Admissions
Dave Sugden examines the party admissions doctrine in the pending Steven Tyler sexual harassment lawsuit.
Justin Bieber and Judicial Notice
Dave Sugden breaks down the doctrine of judicial notice.
Dealing with the Forgetful Witness
Dave Sugden explains how to deal with the forgetful witness at trial.
The Quick and the Dead
Dave Sugden explains explains how to quickly and accurately handle evidence questions during trial.
How to Impeach A Witness With Prior Deposition
Dave Sugden explains explains a simpler and more effective way to impeach a witness with prior deposition testimony.
One Question Too Many?
The Joy of Litigation
Dave Sugden explains why so many litigators are overwhelmed by the practice of law and why it need not be so. Unlike so many professions, lawyers enter their careers having studied the law but never having practiced the law. (But it does not have to be this way...)
Improve Your Direct Examination
Direct examination can be more challenging than cross-examination for many lawyers. In this video, Dave Sugden identifies a couple quick fixes to make your direct examination easier and more persuasive.
Objection Sustained?!? Witness Foundation
In this video, Dave Sugden explains how to deal with objections based on "lack of foundation."
O.J. Simpson's Hearsay Problem!
In this video, Dave Sugden discusses the hearsay statements that came up in O.J.'s civil trial.
Social Media Evidence: Made Simple!
In part 3 of this 3-part series, Dave Sugden discusses important cases that address the admissibility of social media evidence.
Social Media Evidence: Foundation?
In part 2 of this 3-part series, Dave Sugden discusses the rules about how evidence (and social media evidence) is authenticated during trial.
Social Media Evidence: Admissible?
Is social media evidence admissible? Yesterday's smoking guns are today's Tweets and Instagram posts. But how does this evidence make its way into evidence? In the first part of this three-part series, Dave Sugden provides a step-by-step method to tackle any and all evidentiary questions to social media evidence.
The Secondary Evidence Rule
The secondary evidence rule replaced the best evidence rule in the 1990s. But litigators can still get tripped up on its application. Check out Dave Sugden's video for an explanation of the rule and its application.
Improve Your Opening Statement in Five Minutes
The opening statement is among the most important phases of trial. So much of the conventional wisdom contradicts what effective trial lawyers actually do. In this short video, Dave Sugden identifies a couple small (but important) tweaks that will improve your opening statement immediately.
Business Records Exception to the Hearsay Rule
The business records exception to the hearsay rule is among the most important exceptions for business litigators and trial lawyers. In this video, Dave Sugden breaks down and explain the rationale behind the exception and how practitioners can understand and apply the rule and its component parts.
Character Evidence Made Easy
Character evidence can be tricky. When and why is it excluded? If it's allowed, what type of character evidence is permitted? In this video, Dave Sugden explains character evidence so you can understand and properly apply it at your next deposition or trial.
When it comes to hearsay, taking a second or two to think of an exception is still too long in court. The judge will likely sustain the objection and move on. So how can lawyers quickly recognize whether or not a hearsay exception likely exists? In this video, I discuss two working rules to recognize hearsay exceptions, namely (1) necessity, and (2) trustworthiness of the evidence. Recognizing these exceptions can quickly determine whether the evidence should be admissible or inadmissible.
Privileges and Waivers
When it comes to exclusions and limitations, a relevant piece of evidence may be excluded for policy reasons. As such, is there a way for lawyers to know right away when a privilege may be waived? In this video, Dave Sugden discusses the psychotherapist-patient privilege and a framework on the tiers of disclosure that waives this privilege, namely (1) existence, (2) purpose, and (3) significant part.
Character Evidence During Trial
In this training video Dave Sugden discusses how to understand and apply the rules of character evidence during trial. The distinction between character evidence and habit evidence isn't always obvious. What is (inadmissible) character evidence for one judge might be (admissible) habit evidence for another. Mr. Sugden talks about this in detail, as well as the occasions wherein character evidence is allowed, namely — (1) when it is at issue, (2) when it is offered for "other purposes," (3) witness credibility. . . and much more.
I know it's an out of court statement, but is it hearsay? And even if it's hearsay, is it objectionable hearsay? When it comes to confronting hearsay during trial, we need to be both fast and precise. In this short Spotting Hearsay video, Dave Sugden discusses a way to accurately and quickly identify (1) objectionable hearsay--that is hearsay we'll want to exclude, and (2) potential exceptions.
This is a basic primer on how to tackle relevance questions during trial.
Business Records Exception
Understanding the Business Records Exception to the Hearsay Rule
A Team Approach
How should lawyers and expert witnesses collaborate? Both want to ensure that whatever the expert talks about in trial is admitted into evidence.