New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

History of the Guide to NY Evidence


Introduction  

The Committee responsible for the Guide’s publication was commissioned by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore in 201 6. See New York’s Evidence Guide: The Court System’s ‘Best Kept Secret,’ NYLJ, Sept. 10, 2019; The United Court System’s Guide to NY Evidence, NYS Bar Association Journal, April 2020.

In her 2017 State of Judiciary, the Chief Judge explained the reason for Guide:

“ New York is one of the very few states that does not have a statutory code of evidence. Our law of evidence is scattered throughout thousands of judicial decisions, statutory provisions and court rules. For judges and lawyers, this is both frustrating and inefficient. This past July, I established an Advisory Committee on Evidence to create a single, definitive compilation of New York’s law of evidence. Creating an accessible, easy-to-use guide for judges and lawyers will save research time, promote uniformity in applying the law, avoid erroneous rulings and improve the quality of legal proceedings. ”

In 2017, the Committee published the first of its 12 planned articles.

In August 2020, the following history of added and revised rules was begun. The reason for a revision of a rule is stated in a footnote to the rule.

August 2020

Prior to August 2020, two rules had been revised:

In May 2018, rule 8.17 (Excited Utterance) was revised.

In December 2019, subdivision (5) was added to rule 8.05 (Admission by Adopted Statement or Silence).

 

In August 2020, the last of the planned 12 articles was published.

Subdivisions (3)(a) and (b) of rule 1.07 (Court Control over the Presentation of Evidence) were removed from that rule and placed in a separate rule: 1.09 (Court Power to Call or Examine Witnesses).

The alphabetical Index of rules was revised and expanded to permit obtaining the indexed rule in pdf or Word format by clicking on the appropriate link in the Index.