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Discussion Questions

  1. Explain the criteria for finding a witness competent.

  2. Assuming that a man and woman are or were married, explain the circumstances under which the spousal privilege will not apply.

  3. What is the difference between the spousal testimonial privilege and the marital communications privilege?

  4. What are the six grounds for challenging witness competency?

  5. What is the reason for an oath or affirmation? What is the difference between the two?

  6. Explain "dead man's statutes." What was the original purpose, and are these rules still in use?

  7. What may taint the credibility of a witness?

  8. After a witness has been impeached, what methods may be used to rehabilitate him or her?

  9. Explain Federal Rule of Evidence 609.

  10. What are the common grounds for impeaching a witness?

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