Estate of Murdock
Made up case

  • Murdock and his wife were in a plane crash.  The first responder saw that the wife was dead, and heard Murdock say, “I’m alive.”  Soon after Murdock died.
  • For inheritance purposes, it was important who died first.
  • The Trial Judge excluded the evidence about Murdock’s statement as hearsay.
  • The Appellate Court overruled.
    • Basically, the veracity of Murdock’s statement was not at issue.  But the simple fact that he made it proved that was indeed alive.
      • If Murdock had said, “my enemy tampered with my airplane,” that would not be admissible as proof of the enemy’s guilt because it was hearsay.
        • See FRE 105, which covers limited admissibility.