The Character of Discrimination Law: The Incompatibility of Rule 404 and Employment Discrimination Suits

36 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2013 Last revised: 3 May 2016

Lisa Marshall Manheim

University of Washington - School of Law

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

This Note illustrates how violations of Rule 404 of the Federal Rules of Evidence (which prohibits litigants from relying on certain propensity proofs) occur routinely. It demonstrates that the ineffectiveness of the ban in the context of discrimination suits cannot be blamed on clever lawyers or negligent judges, but rather is a predictable consequence of the dearth of evidence available to discrimination plaintiffs. This Note concludes by arguing that this subtle but problematic incongruity justifies a reform of the Rule.

Keywords: Evidence law, discrimination law, Rule 404, propensity evidence

Suggested Citation

Manheim, Lisa Marshall, The Character of Discrimination Law: The Incompatibility of Rule 404 and Employment Discrimination Suits (2005). Yale Law Journal, Vol. 114, No. 5, p. 1063, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2292110

Lisa Marshall Manheim (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States

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