Often we hear a lawyer stand up and say, “Objection Hearsay”. What does that mean? Why is that lawyer objecting to what a person said?
Evidence at a trial in Arkansas and all other states is governed by Rules of Evidence. These Rules of Evidence are there to make sure the evidence that a jury hears is reliable. The Hearsay Rule has to do with the reliability of evidence.
Courts define Hearsay as an oral or written statement, other than one made by the witness, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Don’t be worried if that is not completely clear. There are books and books written about Hearsay Evidence. Many lawyers don’t fully understand what constitutes Hearsay. For example there are 25 exceptions to the Hearsay Rule.
A simple definition of Hearsay is; it is an out of Court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Why is that not reliable?
The person who made the statement was not under oath, and the opposing party did not have the opportunity to cross examine the declarant are the main reasons hearsay is considered unreliable.
This blog is not exhaustive of all the ins and outs of the hearsay rule and the 25 exceptions are outside the scope of this blog. If you want to know more about this rule, give us a call at 479-202-5200, or drop by our office to talk with one of our experienced attorneys. We are located in Rogers, Arkansas just off I-49. We are just like old fashioned doctors, we make house calls and listen to our clients.
Bailey & Oliver Law Firm, 3606 W. Southern Hills Blvd., Suite 200, Rogers, AR 72758.