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The Concept of Hearsay

Students are given hypothetical fact situations and asked whether the testimony offered would be hearsay. The exercise provides practice in applying the concept that an utterance is hearsay if it is offered to show the truth of matters asserted therein. It contains examples of utterances that are not hearsay because they are offered to show their effect upon the auditor, because they are legally operative language, or because they are offered as circumstantial evidence of the declarant’s state of mind. Questions about the hearsay status of nonverbal conduct are also included. The exercise deals only with the concept of hearsay, not with exceptions to the hearsay rule.

The questions and text used in this exercise are different from those in the exercise entitled Hearsay From Square One: The Definition of Hearsay, so both exercises can be used by the same student without duplication. If both exercises are used, the author recommends that Hearsay from Square One be used first.

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