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Character Evidence Cases Summarized By Personal Injury Attorney

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases on character evidence reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of character evidence and the related topic of personal injury. For more information on character evidence issues see the page on Wikipedia.

Character Evidence-Cases

1998 Mottersheard v. Castern, 256 Va. 11, 500 S.E.2d 512.

Character evidence.Generally in civil actions evidence of reputation of parties for truth and veracity is not admissible. Exception exists where such person’s character for truth is attacked either directly or by cross-examination or by proof of inconsistent statements regarding material facts or by disproving through other witnesses material facts stated by such person. Key words here are “whenever such person’s character for truth is attacked.” Mere fact that they are impeached is not sufficient.

1971 Edwards v. Sykes, 211 Va. 600, 179 S.E.2d 902.

Character evidence.Wrongful death action: error to admit evidence of illegitimacy of decedent and half-sister and premarital pregnancy of half-sister, when mother and half-sister are distributees of recovery. Prejudicial far beyond probative value. Evidence does not tend to show lack of affection, suffering, or mental anguish.

1971 Lendvay v. Sobrito, 211 Va. 548, 178 S.E.2d 532.

Character evidence.Not error to exclude evidence on specific acts of misconduct as basis for witness’s own opinion of another witness’s reputation for truth and veracity. Proffered testimony failed to show reputation for truth and veracity among neighbors and acquaintances and was properly excluded.

1967 Redd v. Ingram, 207 Va. 939, 154 S.E.2d 149.

Where witness’s character for truth is attacked either by direct evidence or want of truth, by cross-examination, by proof of contradictory statements in regard to material facts, by disproving other witness’s material facts stated by him in his examination; or, in general, whenever his character for truth is impeached in any way known to law, party calling him may sustain him by evidence of his general reputation for truth.

1953 United Constr. Workers v. Laburnum, 194 Va. 872, 75 S.E.2d 694.

Evidence of reputation of geographical area for unrestrained lawlessness was admissible.

1951 Wray v. Commonwealth, 191 Va. 738, 62 S.E.2d 889.

Suit for forfeiture of vehicle used in bootlegging. Reputation of litigant may be admitted where relevant as it was in this case.

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Character Evidence Cases Summarized By Personal Injury Attorney

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