13 Other categorical exclusionary rules (FRE 407–411)
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This chapter discusses several categorical exclusionary rules. The strongest (though debatable) argument for them is that they incentivize socially beneficial behavior.

Evidence of remedial measures taken after an accident is not admissible to prove fault or defect. Exclusion may incentivize remediation— but sometimes it creates a windfall. The rule does not bar evidence offered on other grounds, such as impeaching a witness or, if disputed, feasibility of precautionary measures.

The validity or amount of a claim may not be proven by evidence of compromises or offers, which might otherwise inhibit settlement efforts. Traditionally, statements made during negotiations were excluded only if specially flagged; though this requirement prevents windfalls, the FRE abolish it. The exclusionary rule does not affect use of the evidence on issues, such as bias, other than the validity or amount of a claim, or impeachment by a prior inconsistent statement or contradiction.

Another rule (waivable to at least some extent) excludes evidence of nolo contendere pleas, most withdrawn guilty pleas, statements during proceedings on such pleas, and statements during plea discussions with a prosecutor.

Under the FRE, evidence of offers to pay medical expenses and the like are not admissible to prove liability for the injury. Many jurisdictions exclude evidence of certain statements expressing sympathy. Some jurisdictions generally exclude apologies or expressions of fault.

Evidence of liability insurance cannot be admitted to prove whether a person acted wrongfully. But other purposes, such as showing the bias of a witness who is the defendant’s insurance adjuster, are unaffected.

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