James Hearing Law and Legal Definition
James hearing is a a court proceeding to determine the admissibility of an out of court statement made by a coconspirator. This proceeding is usually used to determine whether such statement needs to be considered as evidence or not. This method is adopted in cases where there was a conspiracy and the statement so made by the coconspirator is a part of it. This standard for handling the admissibility of coconspirator statements in criminal conspiracy trials was set in the case United States v. James, 590 F.2d 575 (5th Cir. Ga. 1979). The court held that when all evidence on an issue has been received, considered and weighed, and it appears from a preponderance of the evidence that the predicate facts exist, there is no error in the admission of the statements of coconspirators.
The trial court has discretion to determine the application of the James ruling and rationale in the specifics of the trial setting encountered.