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White Collar Defense & Compliance Developments in Criminal Law, Federal Case Law and Statutory Developments

Tag Archives: impeachment

Impeachment of convicted witness may be limited to fact of conviction alone

Posted in Evidence

The rules of evidence to which most frequent resort is made in impeaching witnesses with evidence of misconduct are FRE 608(b) and FRE 609.  Rule 608(b) provides that specific instances of the witness’s conduct to show untruthfulness, other than conviction of a crime under 609, may not be proved extrinsically; that is, the questioner must generally… Continue Reading

Supreme Court reaffirms right to use constitutionally tainted statement for impeachment

Posted in Constitutional law

In a decision issued on April 29th, the Supreme Court — in a decision which thematically follows from the previous post regarding the breadth of the "impeachment by contradiction" doctrine — has reaffirmed the principle that a defendant may be impeached with a statement obtained from him in violation of the Sixth Amendment. Kansas v.… Continue Reading

Doctrine of “impeachment by contradiction” allows defense to use evidence not otherwise admissible in order to impugn cooperator

Posted in Evidence

The concept of "impeachment by contradiction" does not appear in the Federal Rules of Evidence. A vestige of the common law of evidence, the doctrine, however, survived the codification of the FRE and constitutes a valuable overlay and weapon for cross-examiners. Although FRE 609 may not permit convictions to be used which do not meet… Continue Reading

Extrinsic Evidence May Be Used To Impeach Even If FRE 608(b) Appears To Prohibit It

Posted in Evidence

Trial attorneys understand that generally a witness can be impeached with evidence of his or her prior acts going to truthfulness, but only by cross-examining the witness on the point. FRE 608(b) requires the examiner to accept the witness’s answer, and prohibits accomplishing the impeachment extrinsically, through the testimony of a follow-on witness or the… Continue Reading