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Impeachment and Rehabilitation of Witnesses

This exercise begins with a transcript of the direct examination of a government witness in a criminal action. The direct examination will be followed by a crossexamination, and the student is asked to rule on objections to impeachment questions by the crossexaminer. The lesson focuses on permissible and impermissible impeachment concepts under the Federal Rules of Evidence. The exercise was composed under a grant from the Federal Judicial Center as part of its training program for incoming federal judges.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. List instances where judges have discretion to permit wide-ranging cross-examination.
  2. Apply FRE Rule 403.
  3. Explain when extrinsic evidence is permitted.
  4. Define the "independent relevance" test.
  5. Apply FRE Rule 608(b).
  6. Apply FRE Rule 609(a)(2).
  7. Apply FRE Rule 801(d).
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