SUBTITLE A--OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF LABOR
PART 18--RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
FOR ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS BEFORE THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES
Subpart B -- Rules of Evidence
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SUBPART B -- RULES OF EVIDENCE
Source: 55 FR 13219, Apr. 9, 1990, unless otherwise noted.
Relevency and its Limits
Relevant evidence means evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence.
All relevant evidence is admissible, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution of the United States, by Act of Congress, pursuant to executive order, by these rules, or by other rules or regulations prescribed by the administrative agency pursuant to statutory authority. Evidence which is not relevant is not admissible.
Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of confusion of issues, or misleading the judge as trier of fact, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.
(a) Character evidence generally. Evidence of a person's character or a trait of character is not admissible for the purpose of proving action in conformity therewith on a particular occasion, except evidence of the character of a witness, as provided in §§ 18.607, 18.608, and 18.609.
(b) Other crimes, wrongs, or acts. Evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show action in conformity therewith. It may, however, be admissible for other purposes, such as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident.
(a) Reputation of opinion. In all cases in which evidence of character or a trait of character of a person is admissible, proof may be made by testimony as to reputation or by testimony in the form of an opinion. On cross-examination, inquiry is allowable into relevant specific instances of conduct.
(b) Specific instances of conduct. In cases in which character or a trait of character of a person is an essential element of a claim or defense, proof may also be made of specific instances of that person's conduct.
Evidence of the habit of a person or of the routine practice of an organization, whether corroborated or not and regardless of the presence of eyewitnesses, is relevant to prove that the conduct of the person or organization on a particular occasion was in conformity with the habit or routine practice.
When, after an event, measures are taken which, if taken previously, would have made the event less likely to occur, evidence of the subsequent measures is not admissible to prove negligence or culpable conduct in connection with the event. This rule does not require the exclusion of evidence of subsequent measures when offered for another purpose, such as proving ownership, control, or feasibility of precautionary measures, if controverted, or impeachment.
Evidence of furnishing or offering or promising to furnish, or of accepting or offering or promising to accept, a valuable consideration in compromising or attempting to compromise a claim which was disputed as to either validity or amount, is not admissible to prove liability for or invalidity of the claim or its amount. Evidence of conduct or statements made in compromise negotiations is likewise not admissible. This rule does not require the exclusion of any evidence otherwise discoverable merely because it is presented in the course of compromise negotiations. This rule does not require exclusion when the evidence is offered for another purpose, such as proving bias or prejudice of a witness, or negativing a contention of undue delay.
Evidence of furnishing or offering or promising to pay medical, hospital, or similar expenses occasioned by an injury is not admissible to prove liability for the injury.
Except as otherwise provided in this rule, evidence of the following is not admissible against the defendant who made the plea or was a participant in the plea discussions:
(a) A plea of guilty which was later withdrawn;
(b) A plea of nolo contendere;
(c) Any statement made in the course of any proceedings under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure or comparable state procedure regarding either of the foregoing pleas; or
(d) Any statement made in the course of plea discussions with an attorney for the prosecuting authority which do not result in a plea of guilty or which result in a plea of guilty later withdrawn. However, such a statement is admissible in any proceeding wherein another statement made in the course of the same plea discussions has been introduced and the statement ought in fairness be considered contemporaneously with it.
Evidence that a person was or was not insured against liability is not admissible upon the issue whether the person acted negligently or otherwise wrongfully. This rule does not require the exclusion of evidence of insurance against liability when offered for another purpose, such as proof of agency, ownership, or control, or bias or prejudice of a witness.
Except as otherwise required by the Constitution of the United States, or provided by Act of Congress, or by rules or regulations prescribed by the administrative agency pursuant to statutory authority, or pursuant to executive order, the privilege of a witness, person, government, State, or political subdivision thereof shall be governed by the principles of the common law as they may be interpreted by the courts of the United States in the light of reason and experience. However with respect to an element of a claim or defense as to which State law supplies the rule of decision, the privilege of a witness, person, government, State, or political subdivision thereof shall be determined in accordance with State law.
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