Search Site
Menu
Statements of Intent

In Mutual Life Insurance Company v. Hillmon, the Supreme Court rendered a famous and controversial judgement concerning the admissibility of a person’s out-of-court statement. Rule 803(3) of the Federal Rules of Evidence deals with the famous Hillmon case, but it restricts its applicability. In Hillmon, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed evidence of person A’s statement of his intention to travel and, here is the controversial part, with person B. Perhaps, that was too broad an exception to the hearsay rule, which requires a judge to focus on reliable evidence. Consequently, by passing the Rule 803(3) hearsay exception, Congress restricted the use of such a statement to allow only for person A’s statement of intention as to what person A will do. That seems to make the most sense. After all, using person A’s reference to person B as evidence that the two men did actually travel together seems problematic. For example, Person B could have decided to part company with Person A immediately after the statement was made, or perhaps the two men never met to begin with and/or the statement was fabricated.

We are left with an eminently sensitive rule: a statement of a person’s own intention is admissible but not as to another person’s and, in no event, is a statement of memory or belief admissible. A statement of a memory or belief could be fabricated to cover up a crime or to get someone off the hook from civil liability. Certainly, a statement of intention can be deliberately misleading, but cross-examination may take care of that. Besides, a statement of intention is not determinative that the act actually happened; it is only an exception to the hearsay rule from which the trier of fact may infer that the intended act did take place. In other words, that statement of intention will advance the football but on its own will not get you into the endzone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Feinberg & Alban, P.C. fervently protects your rights
  • The Boston firm of Feinberg & Alban, P.C. specializes its practice in the area of personal injury.

    The attorneys serve the entire state of Massachusetts in addition to affiliating with lawyers in other states to handle cases outside of Massachusetts.

  • $7.7 Million Award for Feinberg & Alban Client in Personal Injury Trial

    Boston Attorneys Win Highest Injury Verdict in Massachusetts in 2011 & 2012.

Client Reviews
  • google
    5.0/5.0

    My wife with our dog crossed the street when was hit by a car. Our attorney Alexis Cahill was professional, knowledgeable and reliable. We had good communications with her all the time while my wife recovered from her injuries. We are completely sati...

    Read more

    michaelvideohere

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I got chance make car accident (it's not my fault). Before I didn't have any accident like that one. I choose this agency accidentally due to it's location was convenient to my job. I was surprise (good surprise) that agency lawyer (Colleen Santora) ...

    Read more

    Anatoly Gorbatchev

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Colleen Santora was a great attorney to have during my motor accident. She is very responsive and great at her job. She supported me mentally and professionally. I recommend her to everyone who wants real results.

    Read more

    Nnamdi Chinemere

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Marsha Alban is a great attorney and very easy to work with!

    Read more

    Lana Bautin

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I have had the pleasure of working with Attorney Santora several times, and she has never let me down. She is professional, compassionate, knowledgeable, and always keeps my best interest at the forefront. I have recommended her to friends without he...

    Read more

    Brian Orsatti

See all reviews
Awards & Affiliations
Contact us

Quick Contact Form