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In family law, what is cumulative evidence, in relation to FL Statute 90.612?

Tampa, FL |

And, what are "leading questions" in trial, and some examples of such?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    Cumulative evidence is not mentioned in section 90.612 but IS mentioned in section 90.403. The law generally makes evidence inadmissible if it is not reliable, unhelpful, or prejudicial (more so than it should be). In the case of "cumulative," we are talking about "unhelpful" evidence. Namely, we are talking about evidence that simply goes to duplicate evidence already presented or prove a point that's already been proven. This is not a cut and dry matter. If you have two witnesses to an accident, you probably want to put on the testimony of both witnesses as to what happened even if they testify the exact same way. If you have 100 witnesses, however, perhaps the Court would limit you to just a few witnesses testifying to save time and avoid repeating the same facts over and over (particularly if the other side agrees to the Court assuming that those witnesses are all going to have basically the same story). In relation to 90.612, if that is what you are asking, you basically need to avoid asking the same question multiple ways while taking testimony.

    Leading questions are questions that suggest the answer. Questions that begin with "Isn't it true" or "Wouldn't you agree" or "Didn't" or "wasn't" are the most obvious leading questions. Questions that seek a "yes" or "no" answer are sometimes, but not always, leading questions, whereas open-ended questions (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and, especially, How) are not often leading questions.

    The most appropriate way to AVOID leading questions is to attempt to ask open-ended questions that push the witness to tell his/her own story, with you simply nudging the witness along with questions like "What happened next?" and "Why did you do that?" and "How did that happen?"

    The most appropriate way to USE leading questions is to attempt to tell the story yourself, phrased in the form of questions, such as "Isn't it true that you were drunk that night?" or "Weren't you texting while driving?"

    The information provided in this and other answers on Avvo are general in nature and limited to the facts as stated. The information provided in this and other answers on Avvo should not be construed as legal advice on which the reader relies without further consultation with an attorney. No attorney-client relationship is created on Avvo question & answer forums. This attorney is licensed and admitted to practice law in the State of Florida only.

  2. Mr. Schofield;s answer is absolutely correct. Cumulative means duplicate evidence. Leading questions suggest the answer. "Isn't it true...", "Would you say that..." Leading questions are fine during cross examinations.

    Legal disclaimer: Ms. Braaten's answer to your question does not establish an attorney client relationship, but rather is meant to share knowledge with the general public. For specific advise on your case, you need to consult one on one with an family law attorney.

  3. You might purchase an evidence textbook used by a Florida law school online, etc. Probably could get one used and save some money. Good luck.

    Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.