Stage Fright

 

(1) Action for wrongful death of V. D denies generally. At trial, P calls V's daughter, G, to testify that on June 1 she and V were riding in V's carriage along a narrow country road, that she saw D come up behind the carriage on horseback, that she did not see anything thereafter because she ducked down on the floor of the carriage, and that after the carriage turned over V said to her, "That no-good D hit our horse with his whip." On D's objection, what ruling and why?

(2) P also calls B, V's butler, to testify that when G arrived home on June 1 she was distraught and speechless. B immediately gave her a brandy and made her lie down. Two hours later G awoke and told B that D had whipped the horse and caused the carriage to turn over, killing V. On D's objection, what ruling and why?

What considerations of reliability militate for admission of such statements? What considerations militate against admission? How would you frame a rule of law applicable generally to such declarations?



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