Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Excluding Evidence of Religious Activities as Evidence of Religious Beliefs

From Adams v. United States, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96989 (D. Idaho Nov. 21, 2008):

DuPont seeks to exclude evidence of religious beliefs. For example, [plaintiff] Stevenson's proffer states that he intends to testify as to "church involvement, including a mission for the LDS church to North Carolina in 1979 to 1981." As another example, the proffer for [plaintiff] Duncan states that he intends to testify as to his "involvement in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including the Elder Quorum, as the Young Men's President, as a Counselor to the Bishop, on the High Council . . . ."

The general religious involvement of the non-bellwether plaintiffs is irrelevant, and is unnecessary even as background information. The proffers did not indicate that any of the testimony regarding religious affiliation would go to farming skill, such as, for example, testimony that the witness operated a church farm or obtained some agricultural training on a church mission. Accordingly, the motion to exclude this testimony will be granted.

See Federal Rule of Evidence 610: “Evidence of the beliefs or opinions of a witness on matters of religion is not admissible for the purpose of showing that by reason of their nature the witness' credibility is impaired or enhanced”

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