Washington Law Review


In planning this necessarily brief statement concerning the Code of Evidence which has been approved by the American Law Institute, I found that I was confronted with a considerable problem of condensation. In the first place, what we have here is a Code, and necessarily the draftsmen have undertaken to cover the entire area of the law of evidence. In the second place, the treatment of many existing rules has been radical in character. And finally, it should be mentioned that a controversy arose between the reporter and his advisers on the one hand, and Mr. Wigmore, chief consultant, on the other, as to the method or technique which should be employed in the drafting of an Evidence Code, Mr. Wigmore expressing his disapproval of the Code in an article in the January, 1942, issue of the American Bar Association Journal. The result is that I can do no more today than refer to some of the salient features of the project. Specifically, I shall attempt only the following: 1-A brief reference to the background and history of the undertaking. 2-A word about the dispute as to method which I just mentioned. 3-Reference to some of the more significant changes which would be worked by adoption of the Code and 4-Finally, I shall venture a suggestion relative to the future study and consideration of the Code by the profession in our state.

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