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Copyright © 2007, Gerald Bamberger


Helmsman owned a large apartment complex in Metrocity.  His insurer, MetroFire, refused to pay Helmsman's claim after a fire at the complex, because the origin of the fire was suspicious, and Helmsman had refused to allow a MetroFire representative on the premises immediately after the fire.  Helmsman promptly and properly brought suit.

At trial, MetroFire called Tim, a former tenant of Helmsman's, who testified that Helmsman had told him "I'm losing so much on this building. I'd be a lot better off if it burned to the ground."

Helmsman's attorney did not cross-examine Tim.  Instead, she called Stump, owner of another apartment complex in Metrocity.  Stump, who was Tim's current landlord, testified as follows: "Before I rented to Tim, I called Helmsman to get a landlord reference.  Helmsman told me that several antiques and a painting were missing when Tim vacated his furnished apartment.  When I talked to Tim about this, he refused to discuss it, but the rental market was awful, so I just went ahead."

Upon timely objection by MetroFire, the court should rule the testimony of Stump

(a)      admissible, because Helmsman's pending criminal trial makes him unavailable.
(b)      admissible to impeach Tim.
(c)      inadmissible, because it is neither opinion testimony nor reputation testimony.
(d)      inadmissible extrinsic evidence of a dishonest act committed by Tim.


To see Professor Bamberger explain the answer in detail click here





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