CHARACTER EVIDENCE PROBLEMS

5-1

(1) Sounds like pattern of behavior evidence to me. I'd object under Rule 404. No character evidence in civil cases.

(2) I'd still object. Character is admissible in criminal cases only if the defendant raises the issue first.

(3) I'd object only to the "responsible attorney" evidence. Rule 404 allows the defendant to introducte "pertinent" traits of character. Meekness is pertinent, "responsibility" is not.

(4) I'd object only to the evidence of specific acts of peacefulness. Although the defendant may offer reputation evidence of a pertinent trait (peacefulness), he may not prove it by specific acts.

(5) Yes, the prosecution can cross-examine a character witness about specific events inconsistent with the character trait testified to.

(6) Yes. Once the defendant raises the issue, the prosecution can rebut with evidence of similar scope.

5-2

The character evidence rules apply only to the behavior of people.

5-3

(1) I'd object. Alcohol problems are specific acts of character. The prosecution may not use character evidence against the defendant.

(2) Sure, the defendant can place a pertinent trait of character into evidence.

(3) I'd object that these are specific acts. Rule 404 permits the defendant to prove his character only by opinion or reputation.

5-4

If this were a criminal case, the defendant (Challenger) could offer character evidence of himself (#3) and the victim (#4). The prosecution could not initiate the issue (#1 and #2). In civil cases, the states are split. Some apply the criminal rules to civil cases based on criminal activity; others apply the older rule that no character was allowed in civil cases.

5-5

I'd object to the prosecution introducing character evidence in its case in chief.

5-6

Depends. If the defendant's credibility is at issue (her word against a cop), then it seems like a pertinent trait of character. In most situations, however, the defendant must offer evidence of a trait closely related to the crime charged.

5-7

I'd object to evidence as irrelevant character evidence.

5-8

(1) Sounds like a relevant trait to me. Close call.

(2) Dishonesty okay rebuttal because similar in scope, but I would object to specific acts evidence as prohibited by Rule 404.

5-9

This is permissible rebuttal-in-kind character evidence.

5-10.

(1) I'd object because the prosecution cannot introduce character evidence in its case-in-chief.

(2) I'd object to the peacefulness part as not being a pertinent trait when he's charged with forgery, but the truthfulness trait seems related.

(3) Judge's discretion to permit cross-examination of character witness by asking about acts inconsistent to trait testified to.

(4) No -- there's something called the good-faith test that requires a factual basis for questions.

(5) Nope -- the prosecution can only rebut with reputation and opinion evidence.

5-11

(1) I'd object that this violates 404(b) -- specific acts offered to show general criminality. It does not fit the "identity" exception because there is nothing unique about these crimes.

(2) I'd object that this violates 404(b) -- specific acts offered to show general criminality. It does not fit any of the 404(b) exceptions.