The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has approved four proposed amendments to evidentiary rules pertaining to prior consistent statements and certain hearsay exceptions. Unless Congress takes contrary action, they will take effect December 1, 2014. The Federal Rules of Evidence affected by the changes are 801(d)(1)(B) and 803(6), (7) and (8). As to prior consistent statements that would otherwise be deemed hearsay, the new proposed rule will allow for the admission of a prior consistent statement to rehabilitate the credibility of the declarant who is attacked on any ground. Under the current rule, a consistent statement is not considered hearsay if it is offered to “rebut an express or implied charge that the declarant recently fabricated it or acted from a recent improper influence or motive in so testifying.”
Hearsay exceptions for “records of a regularly conducted activity,” “absence of a record of a regularly conducted activity” and “public records” have been amended to clarify that the opponent bears the burden of proof on the lack of trustworthiness. See Evidence Prof Blog, May 2, 2014.