We dropped a new summary video about an exception to the hearsay rule known as the rule about “Learned Treatises.” Check it out.

The Learned Treatises exception is found in Federal Rule of Evidence 803 (18). Please recall that ‘‘Hearsay’’ refers to a statement that is not made while testifying at the current trial or hearing and is offered into evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statement. A ‘‘statement’’ is what a person said or wrote but also includes nonverbal conduct, if the person intended the conduct as an assertion. The General Rule is that Hearsay statements are not admissible in court.

One exception to this rule says that statements in Learned Treatises, Periodicals, or Pamphlets are not hearsay if certain conditions are met.

Specifically, a statement contained in a treatise, periodical, or pamphlet is not hearsay if:

(A) the statement is called to the attention of an expert witness on cross-examination or relied on by the expert on direct examination; and

(B) the publication is established as a reliable authority by the expert’s admission or testimony, by another expert’s testimony, or by judicial notice.

If admitted, the statement may be read into evidence, but not received as an exhibit.

Pro tip:

803(18) is not limited to print material. It also applies to video. There is no reason to deprive a jury of authoritative learning simply because it is presented in a visual, rather than printed, format. In this age of visual communication a videotape may often be the most helpful way to illuminate the truth. Videotapes are nothing more than a contemporary variant of a published treatise, periodical or pamphlet.

See, Loven v. State, 831 S.W.2d 387, 397 (Tex. Ct. App. 1992); Costantino v. Herzog, 203 F.3d 164 (2nd Cir. 1999)

Use 803(18) for such things a professional training or educational videos.

The Girards Law Firm helps the families of those severely injured or killed by the reckless conduct of others in Arkansas, Oklahoma & Texas. Call 214-346-9529 for a free consultation.

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