first-year law review

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Evidentiary Foundations

Evidentiary foundation refers to a series of questions counsel must ask to provide a basis for the offered evidence. The necessary procedural steps for introducing exhibits into evidence are:

  • Requesting that the exhibit be marked for identification (don’t identify it)
  • Laying the foundation for the exhibit
    • Picture: ordinary fact witness
    • Models & charts: the object is an accurate reproduction for the purpose of illustrating the testimony of the witness
    • Real evidence: show chain of custody
  • Letting opposing counsel examine the exhibit
  • Offering the exhibit into evidence
  • Giving exhibit to trial judge
  • Voir dire examination of the witness, objection, and argument by opposing counsel
  • Ruling
  • Testimony concerning the exhibit
  • Giving the jury the exhibit or copies of it


Knowing what foundation to establish requires knowing which rule applies. All you need to do is transpose the elements of the rule into a series of questions.


September 10, 2007 - Posted by | Evidence

1 Comment »

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    Comment by melindalawrence766 | April 9, 2016 | Reply

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