Law Lessons from STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. MELANIE McGUIRE, __ N.J. Super. __ (App. Div. 2011), A-6576-06T4, March 16, 2011: A trial court has broad discretion under N.J.R.E. 403 to exclude evidence that may be prejudicial or that may divert the jury's focus from the relevant issues in the case. See State v. Sands, 76 N.J. 127, 144 (1978). Under that rule of evidence, potentially relevant evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the risk of undue prejudice, confusion of issues, or undue delay. The trial court's balancing of factors under N.J.R.E. 403 "is subject to the abuse of discretion standard, which sustains the trial court's ruling 'unless it can be shown that the trial court palpably abused its discretion, that is, that its finding was so wide [of] the mark that a manifest denial of justice resulted.'" State v. Lykes, 192 N.J. 519, 534 (2007) (quoting Green v. N.J. Mfrs. Ins. Co., 160 N.J. 480, 492 (1999)). Note: There is a print link embedded within this post, please visit this post to print it. NOTE: My legal services include family law, divorce, child support, litigation, arbitration, mediation, child custody and visitation, alimony, equitable distribution, separation agreements, palimony, PSA, property settlement agreement, premarital and prenuptial agreements, midmarriage and marital agreements.
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