Archive for December 4th, 2012

What You Can Learn About Hearsay From A Very Interesting Blog

posted by Judge_Burke @ 17:00 PM
December 4, 2012

Each year the American Bar Association rates blogs. It is a big deal to be ranked in the top 100, so it might be interesting to occasionally  look at what makes a good quality blog. Among the top 100 legal bogs this year is A recent entry illustrates why adding this blog to your favorites might be in order:

the Ninth Circuit issued the latest in a long line of opinions calling attention to a circuit split over the appropriate standard of review for hearsay rulings. See Wagner v. Cnty. of Maricopa, No. 10-15501 (9th Cir. Nov. 16, 2012). Several appellate panels have considered whether a statement was hearsay de novo, while panels within other circuits have reviewed such decisions for an abuse of discretion. It is also worth noting that both the Sixth Circuit and the Ninth Circuit have issued conflicting decisions on the question.

A.    De Novo Review

  • Biegas v. Quickway Carriers, Inc., 573 F.3d 365, 378-381 (6th Cir. 2009); but see Trepel v. Roadway Exp., Inc., 194 F.3d 708, 716-17 (6th Cir. 1999) (“Therefore, in disregard of our heretofore well-settled precedent that hearsay evidentiary rulings are reviewed de novo, we shall review the district court’s ruling for an abuse of discretion.” (citation omitted)).

B.    Review for Abuse of Discretion

According to the Sixth Circuit, the Supreme Court has already settled the matter “in categorical terms: ‘[A]buse of discretion is the proper standard of review of a district court’s evidentiary rulings.’” United States v. Clay, 667 F.3d 689, 703 (6th Cir. 2012) (quoting Gen. Elec. Co. v. Joiner, 522 U.S. 136, 141 (1997)).”  split Circuits can be found at: