Legal Question in Personal Injury in California

I'd like to understand the impeachment of a respondent in a civil hearing through an example. Let's say you are the respondent in court bec someone claimed you threatened them and are now suing you for, say, emotional distress. You state in court that you never threatened anyone in your life. Then the accuser brings in a witness who testified that you threatened him/her in a different incident a year ago. Since "threatening" is subjective (some may not perceive giving another their 2 cents as threatening, while others may perceive someone with a booming voice and a strong opinion as a threatening), does the witness' testimony impeach the respondent's credibility in this example? Looking for a straightforward answer specific to the example only.

Asked on 4/07/13, 1:41 am

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1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

Impeachment simply means the offering of evidence to call into question the truth of evidence presented by the other side, either by countering the evidence or calling into question the honesty of the other side's witness or both. It has nothing to do with whether the impeachment evidence is compelling or persuasive or not. It can be completely unpersuasive yet it is still impeachment evidence. So, yes, the situation you describe would be impeachment evidence.

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Answered on 4/07/13, 5:43 pm

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