Federal Rules of Evidence

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In General

The Federal Rules of Evidence are the rules governing the admissibility of evidence at civil and criminal trials in federal courts. The Federal Rules of Evidence generally comprise a set of restraints that the courts place on lawyers in an attempt to manage the risks associated with the adversarial process in a trial setting. The Federal Rules of Evidence were adopted in 1975, and as of 2009, 42 states had adopted codes based on the federal model.

Admission of Relevant Evidence

Federal Rule of Evidence 402 provides for the admissibility of relevant evidence unless the rule provides otherwise. Federal Rule of Evidence 403 gives the trial judge discretion to exclude relevant evidence where its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence. Because exclusion occurs only where the pr