Brief Fact Summary. A 4 year old child was walking to his neighbor’s house to get his brother. A neighbor heard screams, looked out his window, and saw that the boy was in an enclosure in which Mr. Poos, a neighbor, kept a wolf that he used in his educational trips to neighborhood schools, and that the head of the wolf was near the child. Nobody saw the wolf bite the child.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A statement made against a party that is the party’s own statement, is admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence (“F.R.E”) Rule 801(d)(2)(B) as an admission by a party opponent, and it is not necessary for the party to have had personal knowledge about the events described in his statement.
The statement is offered against a party and is (A) his own statement, in either his individual or representative capacity or (B) a statement of which he has manifested his adoption or belief in its truth, or (C) a statement by a person authorized by him to make a statement concerning the subject, or (D) a statement by his agent or servant concerning a matter within the scope of his agency or employment, made during the existence of the relationship.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether the note that Mr. Poos left and the statement he later made to his superior were inadmissible as hearsay?
Whether the statement in the Board of Director’s meeting minutes was inadmissible hearsay?
Held. No. The note left by Mr. Poos and the statement that he later made were admissible under the statement of a party opponent exception to the hearsay rule. Moreover, they are admissible against the corporate defendant because Mr. Poos was an agent of the corporate defendant at the time.
The minutes were admissible against the corporate defendant, but not against Mr. Poos, as he was not there.
Discussion. It is not necessary that the declarant have person knowledge of the things about which he makes statements, as it is up to the jury to give appropriate weight to those statements. This goes to weight, not admissibility.