Evidence Rules: Prefatory comment and comments to Rules 609, 803, and 804




Summary:  The Court added text to the prefatory comment, as well as the comments to Rules 609, 803, and 804 of the Rules of Evidence.  These comments were previously amended, effective January 1, 2012, but certain items were either overlooked in the earlier version or were suggested by the Court at its September 2011 Rules Agenda.

Note that the Court adopted this rule petition only in part.  The Court rejected the part concerning a change to the text of Rule 608 and a proposed comment to Rule 608.

Impact:  Generally, there is no impact, as these changes for the most part involve portions of comments describing whether an Arizona rules does, or does not, conform to a corresponding federal rule. 

However, note this change to the comment to Rule 609 (“Impeachment by evidence of a criminal conviction”), in which the word “may” has been changed to “must”: “…this evidence may must be admitted only ‘if the court can readily determine that establishing the elements of the crime required proving – or the witness’s admitting – a dishonest act or false statement.’ ”