Proposed Amendment To FRE 804(b)(3) Statement Against Interest Exception (Part I)

A proposed amendment to FRE 804(b)(3) (Statement Against Interest) will be considered at the June 9-10, 2008 meeting of the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure

The Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure starts its two-day summer meeting in Washington D.C. on June 9. The Committee will consider a proposal by the Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules to amend FRE 804(b)(3). At its May 1-2 meeting in Boston, the Evidence Committee agreed to a proposed amendment to FRE 804(b)(3), the hearsay exception for declarations against penal interest.

The amendment would change the corroborating circumstances requirement that currently applies under the rule only to statements offered by criminal defendants. If the amendment to FRE 804(b)(3) is adopted, the corroborating circumstances requirement would also apply to statements against penal interest offered by the prosecution.

If the Standing Committee approves the proposed rule amendment, it would be released for public comment, as required by the Rules Enabling Act. After public comment that normally would extend through the Fall 2008 to February 2009, the rule amendment could be formally adopted by the Supreme Court in the Spring of 2009. The effective date for the amendment would be in December 2009.

For a copy of the draft amendment language, and an explanation of the purpose for the amendment, see this explanatory post. For further background on the amendment, see Part VIII (Sept. 18, 2009), Part VII (May 6, 2009), Part VI (Feb. 19, 2009), Part V (Jan. 21, 2008), Part IV (Nov. 18, 2008), Part III (Aug. 21, 2008), and Part II (June 19, 2008).

Federal Rules of Evidence