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Offering Evidence

A. Offering Evidence:

When a party anticipates a significant objection to evidence it plans to offer, the offering party may file an in limine motion seeking an advance ruling on the admissibility and use of the evidence in question. If a party plans to offer evidence of a type generally prohibited by the FRE, that party almost always files an in limine motion.

B. Objecting to the admission or use of evidence:

To challenge the admission of evidence or to challenge the purpose for which it is offered, a party must raise a timely objection with the court and must state the basis for the objection.

The trial court need not wait for a party to object to evidence; the court can, sua sponte, exclude certain evidence or direct that it be considered for a limited purpose.

In order to assess the objection, the court may require more information about the evidence. The court may obtain that information by

a. Attorney Proffer: the lawyer represents to the court the nature and content of the evidence at issue. This is also called an offer of proof.

b. Witness Proffer: the court takes witness testimony out of the jury’s presence.

c. Tangible Offer of Proof: when the evidence in question is a tangible item, the offering party may present the item to the judge.

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