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Florida Evidence and Procedure

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Patrick S. Montoya, Ervin A. Gonzalez


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A practical perspective on Florida’s Evidence Code from a trial lawyer’s point of view.

Florida Evidence and Procedure seeks to help simplify and explain the Florida Evidence Code in practical terms. It will assist the trial lawyer in getting a case ready for trial, and getting evidence in at trial.  Florida Evidence and Procedure will help plan and try a clean and effective case, with the best results for clients.

Gleaned from the authors' 45 years of trying cases, Florida Evidence and Procedure is a valuable tool in the trial lawyer’s tool chest.


Chapters Include:
Chapter 1: Introduction to Florida Evidence
Chapter 2: Judicial Notice
Chapter 3: Relevancy
Chapter 4: Admissibility and Objections
Chapter 5: Privileges
Chapter 6: Direct Examination
Chapter 7: Cross Examination
Chapter 9: Demonstrative Evidence
Chapter 10: Documentary Evidence
Table of Cases
Index

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  • Availability: Available
  • Brand: Daily Business Review (FL)
  • Product Type: Books
  • Page Count: 448
  • ISBN: 978-1-62881-593-1
  • Pub#/SKU#: FEVID19
  • Pub Date: 04/28/2019

Author Image
  • Patrick S. Montoya
Patrick S. Montoya is a partner at the firm of Colson Hicks Eidson, in Coral Gables, Florida. He is a trial lawyer whose practice includes products liability, personal injury litigation, aviation law, construction law and toxic torts, class actions and commercial litigation. Mr. Montoya has won clients numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements that not only compensate his clients for the wrong they suffered, but also bring effective change to the laws that protect society.

He frequently lectures on a variety of legal topics at continuing legal education programs such as: electronic discovery, how to take a winning deposition, trial themes, demonstrative evidence, effective cross examination, mass torts and MDLs, among other topics.
Mr. Montoya currently serves as a Director of the Dade County Bar Association, is past-President of the Miami Inns of Courts Chapter and has received numerous honors and awards, including “Top Up & Comer in South Florida,” South Florida Legal Guide from 2009 – 2013, and Florida Rising Stars by SuperLawyers from 2010 – 2017.

He graduated from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, and received his law degree from the University of Miami School of Law, graduating cum laude.


Author Image
  • Ervin A. Gonzalez
Ervin A. Gonzalez was a partner at the firm of Colson Hicks Eidson, in Coral Gables, Florida. He was  board certified as a specialist in civil trial law (personal injury and wrongful death cases) and business litigation law by The Florida Bar and The National Board of Trial Advocacy.

Mr. Gonzalez was a former Governor of The Florida Bar and served on its executive committee and long range planning committee. He was a member of the National Board of Trustees of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) and an elected member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He was Past President of the Dade County Bar Association, Past President of the Dade County Trial Lawyers Association, and a former Director of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers. 

Mr. Gonzalez also served as a member and Subcommittee Chairman for the Florida Bar's Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure. In 2009, Mr. Gonzalez was appointed by a Federal Judge to serve on the Plaintiff's Steering Committee for Chinese Drywall Litigation, and in 2010 Gonzalez was again appointed by a Federal Judge to serve on the Plaintiff's Steering Committee for the BP Oil Spill Litigation.  Mr. Gonzalez was an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law for the trial skills litigation program. He graduated from University of Miami School of Law, Juris Doctorate, 1985, cum laude.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Florida Evidence.............................................1
1-1 INTRODUCTION..............................................................................1
1-1:1 Role of Evidence in a Trial.....................................................1
1-1:2 Structure of Florida Evidence Code........................................3

Chapter 2: Judicial Notice............................................................................5
2-1 INTRODUCTION..............................................................................5
2-1:1 What is Judicial Notice?.........................................................6
2-1:2 Specific Evidence Where Judicial Notice
is Compulsory.........................................................................7
2-1:3 Where a Court May Take Judicial Notice...............................7
2-2 MATTERS WHICH MUST BE JUDICIALLY NOTICED...............8
2-3 MATTERS WHICH MAY BE JUDICIALLY NOTICED................10
2-3:1 Judicial Notice of Resolutions/Ordinances of Florida Counties and Municipalities.................................................15
2-3:2 Judicial and Legislative Pronouncements.............................15
2-3:3 Facts of Common Knowledge..............................................16
2-4 STIPULATIONS...............................................................................21
2-4:1 What Parties May Stipulate to..............................................24

Chapter 3: Relevancy..................................................................................27
3-1 INTRODUCTION............................................................................27
3-1:1 Evidence Must Be Relevant..................................................27
3-1:2 Not All Relevant Evidence is Admissible.............................29
3-1:3 90.403 Analysis Required.....................................................30
3-1:4 Admissibility and Probative Value........................................32
3-1:5 Test to Determine Admissibility...........................................35
3-2 CHARACTER EVIDENCE.............................................................36
3-2:1 General Rule of Exclusion....................................................37
3-2:2 Exceptions.............................................................................37
3-2:3 Establishing Foundation for Admission of
Character Evidence...............................................................38
3-2:4 Admission of Character Evidence of the Victim..................39
3-3 HOW TO PROVE CHARACTER EVIDENCE..............................40
3-3:1 Routine Practices..................................................................41
3-4 EVIDENCE OF OTHER CRIMES, WRONGS AND ACTS..........44
3-4:1 Williams v. State Decision and Admission of Prior
Bad Acts................................................................................45
3-5 IMPLICATIONS OF STATEMENTS EXPRESSING
SYMPATHY.....................................................................................46
3-5:1 Subsequent Remedial Measures...........................................46
3-5:2 Compromise and Offers to Compromise..............................48
3-5:3 Payment of Medical Expenses..............................................50

Chapter 4: Admissibility and Objections..................................................53
4-1 INTRODUCTION............................................................................53
4-1:1 Admissibility.........................................................................53
4-1:2 Objections.............................................................................54
4-2 HEARSAY........................................................................................55
4-2:1 Introduction...........................................................................55
4-2:2 Non-Hearsay Testimony.......................................................58
4-2:3 Hearsay Within Hearsay (Double Hearsay)..........................62
4-2:4 Hearsay Objections Where Availability of Witness is Immaterial.............................................................................63
4-2:4.1 Spontaneous Statement and Excited
Utterance..........................................................64
4-2:4.2 Then-existing Mental, Emotional,
or Physical Condition (State of Mind).............67
4-2:4.3 Admissions......................................................70
4-2:4.4 Former Testimony............................................74
4-2:4.5 Statement of Child Victim, Elderly Person
or Disabled Adult.............................................75
4-2:4.5a Statement of Child Victim..............75
4-2:4.5b Statement of Elderly Person
or Disabled Adult...........................77
4-3 OTHER EXCEPTIONS....................................................................79
4-3:1 Statements for Purposes of Medical Diagnosis
or Treatment..........................................................................79
4-3:2 Recorded Recollection..........................................................81
4-3:3 Regularly Conducted Business Activity Records.................84
4-3:4 Public Records, Reports and Vital Statistics.........................89
4-3:5 Marriage, Baptism and Other Records of Religious Organizations........................................................................92
4-3:6 Family Records & History....................................................93
4-3:7 Records Related to Boundaries and Property.......................95
4-3:8 Ancient Documents...............................................................96
4-4 HEARSAY OBJECTIONS WHERE WITNESS
IS UNAVAILABLE..........................................................................97
4-4:1 Definition of Unavailability..................................................97
4-4:2 Former Testimony...............................................................100
4-4:3 Statement Made Under Belief of Impending Death...........101
4-5 STATEMENT AGAINST INTEREST...........................................104
4-5:1 Personal/Family History
(Fla. Evid. Code 90.804(2)(d))...........................................107
4-5:2 Consistent Statements of Ill/Deceased................................108
4-5:3 Statement Against Party that Caused Declarant’s Unavailability......................................................................109

Chapter 5: Privileges................................................................................111
5-1 INTRODUCTION..........................................................................111
5-2 WAIVER/DISCLOSURE...............................................................113
5-2:1 When is Privilege Waived?.................................................113
5-2:2 Waiver of Spousal Privilege................................................114
5-3 THE 5TH AMENDMENT/SELF-INCRIMINATION...................115
5-3:1 When Does Privilege Attach?.............................................117
5-3:2 State Privilege for Traffic Accident Reports.......................118
5-4 CODIFIED PRIVILEGES..............................................................119
5-4:1 Spousal Privilege................................................................119
5-4:1.1 When Does Privilege Attach?........................120
5-4:1.2 Limits to the Application of
Spousal Privilege...........................................120
5-4:1.3 Three Exceptions to Spousal Privilege..........121
5-4:1.3a Inter-Spousal Litigation...............121
5-4:1.3b Spousal Adversaries in Criminal Proceedings..................................121
5-4:1.3c When the Defendant is a Spouse....122
5-4:2 Attorney/Client Privilege....................................................122
5-4:2.1 Public Policy Behind and Attorney/Client Privilege.........................................................123
5-4:2.2 Who May Waive the Privilege?.....................123
5-4:2.3 Loss of Privilege Through Implication..........124
5-4:2.4 Presence of a Third Party...............................124
5-4:2.5 Privilege and Corporate Communications.....125
5-4:2.6 Exceptions to Privilege and When
Privilege is Extinguished...............................126
5-4:2.7 Limits to Attorney/Client Privilege...............127
5-4:2.8 Application of Privilege to Work Product.....127
5-4:2.8a “Fact” Work Product....................127
5-4:2.8b Opinion Based Work Product.......128
5-4:3 Journalist’s Privilege...........................................................128
5-4:3.1 Protection for Information Obtained
Gathering News.............................................129
5-4:3.2 Courts can Pierce Privilege............................129
5-4:3.3 Limitation of Privilege to Professional Journalists......................................................130
5-4:4 Health Care Provider/Patient Privilege...............................130
5-4:4.1 When Does the Privilege Apply?...................131
5-4:4.2 Exceptions to the Privilege............................131
5-4:4.3 HIPPA and State Law....................................132
5-4:5 Psychotherapist/Sexual Assault Counselor/Domestic Violence Counselor Patient Privilege.................................132
5-4:5.1 Psychotherapist/Patient Privilege..................133
5-4:5.2 Sexual Assault Counselor/Patient Privilege....138
5-4:5.3 Domestic Violence Counselor/Patient
Privilege.........................................................139
5-4:6 Accountant/Client Privilege................................................140
5-4:7 Clergy Privilege..................................................................142
5-4:8 Trade Secret Privilege.........................................................144

Chapter 6: Direct Examination................................................................149
6-1 INTRODUCTION..........................................................................149
6-1:1 What is Direct Examination?..............................................149
6-1:2 Pre-Testimony Preparation..................................................151
6-1:3 Importance and Purpose of Creating an Outline.................154
6-1:4 Preparing a Witness for Direct Examination......................155
6-1:5 Witnesses with Special Needs.............................................158
6-2 SCOPE OF EXAMINATION.........................................................159
6-2:1 Open Narrative Method vs. Specific Question Method......159
6-2:2 Effectively Presenting Testimony to the Jury.....................161
6-3 EXPERT DIRECT EXAMINATION.............................................164
6-3:1 Four Stages of Direct Examination of Experts...................165
6-3:1.1 Qualifying the Witness as an Expert..............165
6-3:1.1a The Frye Standard........................166
6-3:1.1b The Daubert Standard..................167
6-3:1.2 Establishing Basis for the Opinion................174
6-3:1.3 Eliciting the Opinion......................................176
6-3:1.4 Explaining the Opinion..................................177
6-4 LEADING QUESTIONS................................................................177
6-4:1 When Leading Questions are Permitted.............................178
6-4:2 Hostile Witnesses................................................................178
6-4:3 Use of Leading Questions...................................................179

Chapter 7: Cross Examination................................................................183
7-1 INTRODUCTION..........................................................................183
7-1:1 Objectives...........................................................................185
7-2 SCOPE OF CROSS EXAMINATION...........................................186
7-3 PREPARATION..............................................................................189
7-3:1 Deposition as Preparation...................................................190
7-3:2 Admissions by Witnesses during During Depositions........191
7-3:3 Strategy for Cross-Examination..........................................192
7-3:4 Developing Questions Based on Prior Testimony
and Helpful Documents......................................................193
7-3:5 Composure During Questioning.........................................194
7-3:6 Asking Questions in the Correct Order...............................195
7-3:7 “Looping”...........................................................................195
7-3:8 Respecting the Jury.............................................................195
7-3:9 Exit Strategy........................................................................196
7-4 PROPER IMPEACHMENT...........................................................197
7-5 CORPORATE REPRESENTATIVES/EXPERT WITNESSES.....198

Chapter 8: Expert & Opinion Testimony................................................201
8-1 INTRODUCTION..........................................................................201
8-1:1 Opinion Testimony..............................................................202
8-1:2 Direct Examination of Expert Witness...............................205
8-1:3 Cross Examination of Expert Witness:...............................212
8-1:4 Daubert vs. Frye.................................................................216

Chapter 9: Demonstrative Evidence........................................................223
9-1 INTRODUCTION..........................................................................223
9-1:1 Importance of Demonstrative Evidence..............................223
9-1:2 Nature and Definition..........................................................224
9-1:3 Demonstrative Aids.............................................................224
9-2 ADMISSIBILITY...........................................................................225
9-2:1 Introduction.........................................................................225
9-2:2 Discretion of Court.............................................................226
9-2:3 Pretrial Procedures..............................................................226
9-2:4 Laying Foundation..............................................................227
9-3 TYPES............................................................................................227
9-3:1 Generally.............................................................................227
9-3:2 Charts..................................................................................228
9-3:3 Models................................................................................231
9-3:4 Demonstrations and Experiments.......................................233
9-3:5 Photographs........................................................................234
9-3:5.1 Relevancy......................................................234
9-3:5.2 Foundational Issues.......................................235
9-3:5.3 Pictorial Testimony or Silent Witness............236
9-3:6 Videotapes, DVD and Film.................................................237
9-3:7 Replicas...............................................................................238
9-3:8 Real Evidence.....................................................................239
9-3:9 Scientific Tests....................................................................241
9-3:9.1 General Standard...........................................241
9-3:9.2 Particular Applications...................................242
9-3:9.2a X-Rays.........................................242
9-3:9.2b Magnetic Resonance
Imaging (MRI).............................243
9-3:9.2c Liquid Crystal Thermography
(LCT)...........................................243
9-3:9.2d Polygraphs....................................243
9-3:9.2e DNA Evidence.............................244
9-3:9.2f Sexual Abuse Legitimacy Scale....244
9-3:9.2g Serum Blood Alcohol Test...........244
9-3:9.2h Computer Animation....................244
9-4 PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS...............................................245
9-4:1 Logistics..............................................................................245
9-4:2 DVD....................................................................................246
9-4:3 Graphics..............................................................................246
9-4:4 Real Evidence.....................................................................246
9-4:5 Computer Animation and Simulation.................................246
9-4:6 Disk-Based Litigation.........................................................246
9-4:7 Conclusions.........................................................................247

Chapter 10: Documentary Evidence........................................................249
10-1 INTRODUCTION..........................................................................249
10-1:1 Authentication, Florida Statute 90.901...............................250
10-1:2 Self-Authenticating Evidence.............................................253
10-1:3 The Best Evidence Rule......................................................260
10-1:3.1 Sample Foundations.......................................261

Appendix A: Florida Evidence Code ......................................................265
Appendix B: Motion in Limine Forms ...................................................329

Table of Cases............................................................................................381
Index...........................................................................................................415