'Remarkable Strategems and Conspiracies': How Unscrupulous Lawyers and Credulous Judges Created an Exception to the Hearsay Rule

33 Pages Posted: 20 May 2007 Last revised: 9 Jan 2008

Marianne Mimi Wesson

University of Colorado Law School

Abstract

This paper, a companion piece to the author's earlier exploration of the case of Mutual Life Insurance Company v. Hillmon (at http://ssrn.com/abstract=813307) describes the remarkable record of unethical conduct compiled by the eminent and respectable attorneys for the insurance companies in the course of that litigation. When married with the Supreme Court Justices' uncritical willingness to accept the false narrative thus contrived, these attorneys' misconduct led to the creation of an important rule of evidence - a rule of questionable merit. This article aims to remind us that lawyers who are willing to distort the process of litigation have the power not only unjustly to advantage their clients in particular cases, but to affect the creation and persistence of overarching policies that do not serve the ends of justice or truth.

Keywords: Evidence, Hearsay, Ethics

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K41

Suggested Citation

Wesson, Marianne Mimi, 'Remarkable Strategems and Conspiracies': How Unscrupulous Lawyers and Credulous Judges Created an Exception to the Hearsay Rule. Fordham Law Review, Vol. 76, p. 1675, 2007; University of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 07-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=987421

Marianne Mimi Wesson (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

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