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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert


The relevance of evidence is the tendency to make the existence of a fact more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence (Federal Rule of Evidence 401).     

Evidence that is relevant is admissible unless prohibited by law. Evidence that is not relevant is not admissible (Federal Rule of Evidence 402).

A critical rule in trial practice allows the court to eliminate evidence that might be relevant if its value is outweighed by dangers of prejudice, confusion, being misled, or tending to delay, waste time or be cumulative (Federal Rule of Evidence 403).

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