Topics: Appellate Review


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Here are some examples of foundations and impeachments. These should be useful when you do the small group exercises. Remember, these are just examples. Although you must comply with the rules of evidence when laying a foundation or impeaching, there are many different effective ways to accomplish these tasks. The lawyers teaching your small group sessions may have some other effective methods other than the ones presented in this handout. The point is not to just comply with the evidence rules. Lawyers want to be effective advocates and win cases. Many lawyers think that the best resource for foundations is the book Evidentiary Foundations by Edward Imwinkelried, (found in our library at KF 8935, Z9, I45).
Example (exhibit not to scale):

Q. Mr. Doe, are you familiar with the intersection of North and Clark Streets?

A. Yes, it’s a block from my house.

Q. Are you familiar with that intersection as it looked on December 13 of last year?

A. Yes.

Step 1. Have exhibit marked.

Step 2. Show exhibit to opposing counsel.

Step 3. Ask permission to approach witness.

Step 4. Show exhibit to witness.

Step 5. Establish foundation:

Q. I show you Plaintiff’s Exhibit #1 for identification purposes: Does that diagram fairly and accurately show the intersection of North and Clark Streets as it existed on December 13 of last year?

A. Yes, sir. I’d say it does.

Q. Would that diagram help you explain what happened?

A. I think so.

Step 6. Offer exhibit in evidence.

Step 7. Have exhibit marked in evidence.

Step 8. Have witness mark exhibit.

Step 9. Ask permission to show exhibit to jury.

Step 10. Show exhibit to jury.

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