Nebraska's Evidentiary Rules Regarding Witnesses
Mangrum, Richard Collin
FIRST PARAGRAPH(S)|Every person is competent to be a witness except as otherwise provided in these rules.|Nebraska adopted verbatim the competency rule contained in Federal Rule of Evidence 601. Reversing the common law tradition of disqualifying certain witnesses based on special status, Rule 601 provides for the general competency of all witnesses, "except as otherwise provided by these rules." The rule, strictly interpreted, would provide the court with no discretion to exclude witnesses based upon such factors as infancy, mental capacity, drunkenness, or mental disorder. The Supreme Court Committee on Practice and Procedure, however, explained that while Rule 601 expressly qualifies all witnesses, "Rules 403 and 602 are deemed sufficient to enable the judge to cope with such matters as the testimony of a three-year-old child." This comment implies the continued legitimacy of some form of witness voir dire or interrogation in those cases where testimonial capacity is truly at issue...
28 Creighton L. Rev. 55 (1994-1995)
Creighton University School of Law