the inability to act as a witness. today, there are few grounds for incompetency, and in federal courts and all states except arkansas (where atheists are not competent), all persons are competent to be a witness.
the elements of witness capacity are the ability to perceive, remember, narrate in an understandable manner, and sincerity.
qualifying to be a witness
to qualify to be a witness, a person must possess witness capacity: have personal knowledge of facts relevant to the case, be able to understand the obligation to tell the truth, and take the oath or a ffirm that he or she will testify truthfully.
witness voir dire
the process or hearing, sally conducted out of the presence of the jry, by which a judge decides the qalification of a witness to testify.
exchanges of confidential information between persons who are in a privileged relationship.
proposed privilege rules
those privilege rles drafted bt not adopted as the Federal Rles of Evidence.
Holder of a privilege
that person who benefits from the privilege and who has the power to waive it.
HEARING IN CAMERA
a judge's consideration, privately, in chanbers, of the validity of a claim; here, specifically, a claim that a privilege does or does not exist.
SPOSAL INCAPACITY PRIVILEGE
the marital privilege that gives a spose called to testify against his or her spose the privilege to refse to testify.
MARITAL COMMUNICATIONS PRIVILEGE
the rule that any communication between spouses, during the marriage, is privileged.
one who is authorized to practice law in a given state or nation.
one who goes to an attorney seeking professional services or advice.
any person who consults a psychotherapist or physician for the purpose of the diagnosis or the treatment of a mental or emotional condition.
a person who has been authorized to practice medicine and devotes a substantial portion of his or her time to the practice of psychiatry, or a person who is recognized by the laws of the particular jurisdiction as a certified psychologist. some jurisdictions extend the definition to include social workers.
DANGEROUS PATIENT EXCEPTION
an exception to psychotherapist-patient privilege, existing in most states, which provides that, if the psychotherapist has reasonable cause to believe that the patient is in such mental or emotional condition as to be dangerous to himself or herself, or to another person or another's property, the disclosure of the communications is necessary to prevent the threatened danger.
priests, ministers, religuious practitioners, or similar functionaries who have been ordained by a religious denomination or organization.
one who seeks out the clergy in a religious capacity for the purpose of securing spiritual advice.
publisher, editor, reporter, or other person connected or employed by a newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication or by a radio or television station.