Preparation – Offer of proof

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  1. United States v. Hodge
    , 26 M.J. 596 (A.C.M.R. 1988),
    aff’d
    , 29 M.J. 304 (C.M.A. 1989). An offer of proof should be specific and should include the names and addresses of witnesses and a summary of expected testimony.
  2. United States v. Stubbs
    , 23 M.J. 188 (C.M.A. 1987),
    cert. denied
    , 484 U.S. 846 (1987). “[T]rial judges should not let the litigants lapse into a procedure whereby the moving party will state the motion and then launch right into argument without presenting any proof but buttressing his/her argument with the assertion that so and so would testify as indicated, if called. The other party then counters with his/her own argument and offers of proof … Do not let counsel stray into stating what someone would say if they were called. Force them to call the witness, provide valid real and documentary evidence or provide a stipulation. Sticking to proper procedure will save you time and grief and provide a solid record.” 23 M.J. at 195.
  3. United States v. Alexander
    , 32 M.J. 664, (A.F.C.M.R. 1991),
    aff’d
    , 34 M.J. 121 (C.M.A. 1992). Court notes that “counsel based much of their argument on offers of proof; although opposing counsel frequently disagreed with the proffers, no additional
    evidence
    was tendered.” Counsel and judges must be careful to establish a proper factual basis for evidentiary rulings. 32 M. J. at 667 n.3.
  4. Notice. a. Emphasis on prior notice to counsel and the military judge. b. R.C.M. 905(i). Written motions shall be served on all parties. When? Exceptions? c. Local judiciary rules.
    United States v. Williams
    , 23 M.J. 362 (C.M.A. 1987). A local rule is invalid if it conflicts with the Manual for Courts- Martial.

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