Assume that you are involved in a family law case and want to admit alcohol and drug treatment records into evidence. Where do you begin? What do you need to show or prove when offering these specific pieces of evidence? One of the first places to look (other than the Texas Rules of Evidence, of course) is Predicates Manual 2.0 published by the Texas Family Law Foundation in conjunction with the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. With this valuable resource, you have, at your fingertips, all of the information needed, including statutory and case authority, to properly present your evidence to the court. In this guide, you can find predicates for accounting records, artist’s sketches, audio recordings, blood samples, criminal records, domestic public documents, marital agreements, payroll records, telephone call logs, and video tapes, just to name a few.
As a supplement to Predicates Manual 2.0, the Texas Family Law Foundation has also published Electronic Evidence Predicates presented in a “direct and cross in question format.” In this supplement, you will find predicates for emails, texts, Facebook and other social media posts, chat rooms, instant messaging, and websites.
Interested in finding out the answer to the question that I posed at the beginning of my post? I’m afraid I can’t reveal it to you, so you’ll just have to visit the Harris County Law Library and have a look at Predicates Manual 2.0 to find it. (Hint: The answer can be found on page 15).