The D.C. Rules of Evidence govern the admission of evidence – testimony, documents and tangible objects — in D.C. Superior Court. Evidence is the collective mass of things that, presented before a tribunal in a given dispute, tend to prove or disprove the existence of an alleged fact.
Unlike most other jurisdictions, the District of Columbia does not follow the numbering system of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Hearsay rules, for example, are not grouped under Article 8 beginning with Rule 801 on definitions. Instead, the rules of evidence are sprinkled throughout the D.C. Code, particularly Title 14, and the Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure. Without a collection of rules grouped together for easy access, this can make things more difficult for the practitioner.
Here are the general categories of rules governing the introduction of evidence in the District:
Authentication and Identification
Chain of custody
Cross Examination and Impeachment
Prior Bad Acts/Other Crimes Evidence
Rule of Completeness