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Patient Confidentiality
Physician–patient privilege is a legal concept, related to medical confidentiality, that protects communications between a patient and his or her doctor from being used against the patient in court. It is a part of the rules of evidence in many common law jurisdictions. Almost every jurisdiction that recognizes physician–patient privilege not to testify in court, either by statute or through case law, limits the privilege to knowledge acquired during the course of providing medical services. In some jurisdictions, conversations between a patient and physician may be privileged in both criminal and civil courts.Contents1 Scope 2 United States 3 Australia 4 See also 5 ReferencesScope[edit] The privilege may cover the situation where a patient confesses to a psychiatrist that he or she committed a particular crime. It may also cover normal inquiries regarding matters such as injuries that may result in civil action
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Evidence (law)
The law of evidence, also known as the rules of evidence, encompasses the rules and legal principles that govern the proof of facts in a legal proceeding. These rules determine what evidence must or must not be considered by the trier of fact in reaching its decision. The trier of fact is a judge in bench trials, or the jury in any cases involving a jury.[1] The law of evidence is also concerned with the quantum (amount), quality, and type of proof needed to prevail in litigation. The rules vary depending upon whether the venue is a criminal court, civil court, or family court, and they vary by jurisdiction. The quantum of evidence is the amount of evidence needed; the quality of proof is how reliable such evidence should be considered. Important rules that govern admissibility concern hearsay, authentication, relevance, privilege, witnesses, opinions, expert testimony, identification and rules of physical evidence
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Hearsay
Hearsay evidence is "an out-of-court statement introduced to prove the truth of matter asserted therein". In certain courts, hearsay evidence is inadmissible (the " Hearsay Evidence Rule") unless an exception to the Hearsay Rule applies. For example, to prove Tom was in town, the attorney asks a witness, "What did Susan tell you about Tom being in town?" Since the witness's answer will rely on an out-of-court statement that Susan made, if Susan is not available for cross-examination, and it is to prove the truth that Tom was in town, it is hearsay. A justification for the objection is that the person who made the statement is not in court and thus is insulated from cross-examination. Note, however, that if the attorney asking the same question is not trying to prove the truth of the assertion about Tom being in town but the fact that Susan said the specific words, it may be acceptable
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WITNESS
A witness is someone who has, who claims to have, or is thought, by someone with authority to compel testimony, to have knowledge relevant to an event or other matter of interest. In law a witness is someone who, either voluntarily or under compulsion, provides testimonial evidence, either oral or written, of what he or she knows or claims to know about the matter before some official authorized to take such testimony. A percipient witness or eyewitness is one who testifies what they perceived through his or her senses (e.g.: seeing, hearing, smelling, touching). That perception might be either with the unaided human sense or with the aid of an instrument, e.g.: microscope or stethoscope, or by other scientific means, e.g.: a chemical reagent which changes color in the presence of a particular substance. A hearsay witness is one who testifies what someone else said or wrote. In most court proceedings there are many limitations on when hearsay evidence is admissible
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Competence (law)
In United States law, competence concerns the mental capacity of an individual to participate in legal proceedings or transactions, and the mental condition a person must have to be responsible for his or her decisions or acts. Competence is an attribute that is decision specific. Depending on various factors which typically revolve around mental function integrity, an individual may or may not be competent to make a particular medical decision, a particular contractual agreement, to execute an effective deed to real property, or to execute a will having certain terms. Depending on the state, a guardian or conservator may be appointed by a court for a person who satisfies the state's tests for general incompetence, and the guardian or conservator exercises the incompetent's rights for the incompetent. Defendants who do not possess sufficient "competence" are usually excluded from criminal prosecution, while witnesses found not to possess requisite competence cannot testify
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Privilege (evidence)
In the law of evidence, a privilege is a rule of evidence that allows the holder of the privilege to refuse to disclose information or provide evidence about a certain subject or to bar such evidence from being disclosed or used in a judicial or other proceeding. There are a large number of such privileges recognised by the judicial system, some stemming from the common law and others from statute law. Each privilege has its own rules, which often vary between jurisdictions.Contents1 Types 2 Effect 3 See also 4 References 5 External linksTypes[edit] One well known privilege is the solicitor–client privilege, referred to as the attorney–client privilege in the United States
United States
and as the legal professional privilege in Australia
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Direct Examination
The direct examination or examination-in-chief is one stage in the process of adducing evidence from witnesses in a court of law. Direct examination is the questioning of a witness by the party who called him or her, in a trial. Direct examination is usually performed to elicit evidence in support of facts which will satisfy a required element of a party's claim or defense. In direct examination, one is generally prohibited from asking leading questions. This prevents a lawyer from feeding answers to a favorable witness. An exception to this rule occurs if one side has called a witness, but it is either understood, or becomes clear, that the witness is hostile to the questioner's side of the controversy. The lawyer may then ask the court to declare the person he or she has called to the stand a hostile witness
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Cross-examination
In law, cross-examination is the interrogation of a witness called by one's opponent. It is preceded by direct examination (in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, South Africa, India
India
and Pakistan
Pakistan
known as examination-in-chief) and may be followed by a redirect (re-examination in England, Scotland, Australia, Canada, South Africa, India, Hong Kong, and Pakistan).Contents1 Variations by jurisdiction 2 The art of cross-examination 3 Affecting the outcome of jury trials 4 See also 5 References 6 Further readingVariations by jurisdiction[edit] In the United States federal Courts, a cross-examining attorney is typically not permitted to ask questions that do not pertain to the testimony offered during direct examination, but most state courts do permit a lawyer to cross-examine a witness on matters not raised during direct examination
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Redirect Examination
When a witness is presented for testimony in the U.S. judicial system, the order is "direct" testimony, then the opposing attorney does "cross" and then "redirect" from the attorney first offering the witness. "Recross" may be allowed, but usually the opposing attorney must ask for permission from the judge before proceeding with this additional round of questioning. In Australia, Canada
Canada
and South Africa
South Africa
the process is called re-examination. See also[edit]Cross-examination Direct examinationThis legal term article is a stub
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Witness Impeachment
Witness
Witness
impeachment, in the law of evidence of the United States, is the process of calling into question the credibility of an individual testifying in a trial. The Federal Rules of Evidence contain the rules governing impeachment in US federal courts.Contents1 Parties that may impeach 2 Methods 3 Categories3.1 Bias 3.2 Inconsistent statement 3.3 Character3.3.1 Prior conviction 3.3.2 No extrinsic evidence3.4 Competency 3.5 Contradiction4 Bolstering and rehabilitating 5 See also 6 References 7 External linksParties that may impeach[edit] Under the common law of England, a party could not impeach its own witness unless one of four special circumstances was met. The Voucher Rule required the proponent of the witness to "vouch" for the truthfulness of the witness
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Recorded Recollection
A recorded recollection (sometimes referred to as a prior recollection recorded), in the law of evidence, is an exception to the hearsay rule which allows witnesses to testify to the accuracy of a recording or documentation of their own out-of-court statement based on their recollection of the circumstances under which the statement was recorded or documented - even though the witness does not remember the events attested to in the statement
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Expert Witness
An expert witness, in England, Wales and the United States, is a person whose opinion by virtue of education, training, certification, skills or experience, is accepted by the judge as an expert
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Dead Man's Statute
A dead man's statute, also known as to as a dead man act or dead man's rule, is a statute designed to prevent perjury in a civil case by prohibiting a witness who is an interested party from testifying about communications or transactions with a deceased person (a "decedent") against the decedent unless there is a waiver. This prohibition applies only against a witness who has an interest in the outcome of the case and applies only where that witness is testifying for his own interests and against the interests of the decedent. Furthermore, the restriction only exists in civil cases, never in criminal cases. The restriction can be waived. A waiver can occur in a number of ways:The decedent's representative fails to object to the testimony; The decedent's own representative testifies to the communication; The decedent's testimony is brought before the jury in the form of a deposition or in another form.With respect to U.S
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Hearsay In English Law
The hearsay provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003
Criminal Justice Act 2003
reformed the common law relating to the admissibility of hearsay evidence in criminal proceedings begun on or after 4 April 2005. Section 114 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003
Criminal Justice Act 2003
defines hearsay evidence as a statement not made in oral evidence in criminal proceedings and admissible as evidence of any matter stated but only if certain conditions are met, specifically where:It is in the interests of justice to admit it (see section 114(1)(d)) The witness cannot attend (see section 116) The evidence is in a document (see section 117) The evidence is multiple hearsay (see section 121)The meaning of "statements" and "matter stated" is explained in section 115 of the 2003 Act
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Ancient Document
An ancient document, in the law of evidence, refers to both a means of authentication for a piece of documentary evidence, and an exception to the hearsay rule. Authentication[edit] With respect to authentication, an "ancient document" is one that may be deemed authentic without a witness to attest to the circumstances of its creation because its age suggests that it is unlikely to have been falsified in anticipation of the litigation in which it is introduced. Under the American Federal Rules of Evidence ("FRE"), a document is deemed authentic if it is:at least twenty years old; in a condition that makes it free from suspicion concerning its authenticity; and found in a place where such a writing was likely to be kept.Many states have similar rules, but may limit the app
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Hearsay In United States Law
Hearsay is the legal term for certain statements—offered as evidence during a trial or hearing for the purpose of attempting to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statements—that were not made while testifying at the trial or hearing itself. In general, the witness will attempt to make a statement such as, "Sally told me Tom was in town" (for the purpose of proving that Tom was indeed "in town"), as opposed to "I saw Tom in town." Hearsay is not allowed as evidence in the United States, unless one of nearly thirty[1] exceptions applies to the particular statement being made. The hearsay rule is an analytic rule of evidence that defines hearsay and provides for both exceptions and exemptions from that rule
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