Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wright v. Doe D. Tatham case brief

Wright v. Doe D. Tatham (Exchequer Chamber 1837)

Δ argued that he was competent, wanted to bring in evidence of letters written to decedent, which seem to show that the writers assumed decedent’s competence (writers of letters all dead, so unavailable)

Question of whether decedent was competent, whether his will should be upheld

Letters aren’t admissible
-Hearsay rule was developed to enable the opposing party to challenge the credibility and perceptual accuracy of the declarant of the information.
-Party offering letters is asking jury to rely on just that credibility/accuracy
Note: this is under the old CL rule – today, would almost certainly be admissible
Example of written statement that’s admissible b/c it’s not being offered as proof of the thing asserted – it’s not like the letter says “you’re competent”
Inferences can be drawn, and it’s not hearsay, so long as the inference isn’t what the writer meant to imply

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