by Professor Chris Chambers Goodman
Fed Up! California Pushes Back on Federal Policy with Notable Rules and Rulings on Cannabis, Domestic Violence, and Immigration
In 2017, the California Legislature enacted clarifications and expansions of several statutes, including additional protections for subordinated groups. The courts addressed the scope of the confrontation clause, specifically the standard for determining whether evidence is used for the truth of the matter asserted or for another purpose. There were two notable United States Supreme Court cases involving the impact of racial or ethnic bias on jurors. The California Supreme Court also addressed several aspects of the Evidence Code in death penalty cases. For civil litigators, there were few changes except for several expert witness, privilege, and Evidence Code section 352 issues that can apply more broadly.
Part One of this article describes the notable amendments and additions to the Evidence Code in 2017. Part Two summarizes two United States Supreme Court cases on evidentiary issues. Part Three summarizes California Supreme Court decisions impacting interpretations of the Evidence Code.