Evidence: Admissibility

Lira v. Ins. Co. of State of PA [01/05/11] 2011 MTWCC 1 The previous statements of a witness who is unavailable to testify within the meaning of M.R.Evid. 804(a) are not admissible as statements against interest under M.R.Evid. 804(b)(3) where the statements made were that the witness shot the injured worker in self-defense.  A statement in which the witness offered justification for his action is exculpatory and does not constitute a statement against interest.
Rau v. Montana State Fund [06/04/08] 2008 MTWCC 26 Petitioner objected to the admission of a letter to Respondent’s counsel written by a medical expert witness on the grounds that the expert offered legal conclusions or opinions which he is not competent to give, and further argued that some of the terms were undefined and therefore vague, confusing, and misleading. Petitioner’s counsel extensively cross-examined the expert on these issues. Therefore, Petitioner’s objections go more to the weight, rather than the admissibility, of the opinions expressed in the letter.