Is it relevant?

o°While a paralegal is not going to be conducting questioning during a trial, the issue of relevance is one the paralegal will encounter.  One important area is in motion work where exhibits and testimony in support of a motion need to be relevant.

To determine whether something is relevant under California Law, one should ask 3 questions:

  1. Is the offered evidence of consequence to the issues in the action?
  2. Does the offered evidence have any tendency to make a fact more or less probable?
  3. Even if it is relevant, is the probative value of the evidence (its ability to prove or disprove a fact) substantially outweighed by the other considerations (i.e. inflammatory nature, prejudicial nature).

The 3 elements of relevance are more concisely:

  • of consequence
  • probative (having a tenancy to make a fact more or less probable)
  • probative value must substantially outweighs other considerations such as potential prejudice.

The practitioner can easily see that this is not a black and white test as to whether or not something is relevant.  A paralegal should be familiar with the terms and the analysis of evidence to determine relevancy, so they can be of assistance to the attorney in pointing out evidence that might not be within the parameters of relevance.

Advertisements
Published in: on February 6, 2013 at 8:02 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://paralegalessentials.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/is-it-relevant/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: