That’s hearsay!: The excited-utterance exception

This short post is the third installment on the topic of hearsay.  Specifically, addressed here is the second of the 16 hearsay exceptions known as the excited-utterance exception.  The exception is defined as follows: A statement relating to a startling event or condition, made while the declarant was under the stress of excitement that it caused.  Pa.R.Evid. 803(2). The underlying … Read More

The many ways to lose your driver’s license and the repercussions that follow

A driver’s license is a privilege, not a right.  But it is an indispensable privilege, one that enables us to commute to work (to make a living) and to remain socially connected with one another.  This privilege, however, is susceptible to being taken away under a variety of circumstances. This post lists the many ways a driver may lose their … Read More

That’s hearsay!: The present-sense-impression exception

This post follows up to my initial post of March 30, 2017 on the topic of hearsay.  In this short post, I discuss the first of what Pennsylvania recognizes as 16 exceptions to hearsay.  That is, in Pennsylvania, 16 different scenarios may technically qualify as a “hearsay statement”—a statement made outside of court being offered in court to prove the … Read More

A win from the Pa. Supreme Court for unrepresented prisoners

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided Commonwealth v. Burton, ____ A.3d ____, 2017 WL 1149203 (Pa., Mar. 28, 2017).  The case involved what is known as the “public-record presumption.”  The presumption is this: what is contained in the public record is presumed to be knowable to the masses.  The question in this case, however, was whether that presumption should … Read More