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Coles v. Harsch

Supreme Court of Oregon
276 P. 248 (Or. 1929)


Coles (plaintiff) brought suit against Harsch (defendant), claiming that he had “maliciously alienated the affections” of Coles’s wife by “improper attentions shown to her,” specifically by wrestling with her on many occasions. Harsch brought James Thompson as a witness and he testified that the Harsch’s conduct toward Mrs. Coles was no different than his conduct toward his other women friends. On cross-examination of Thompson, Coles asked only if Thompson recalled talking to Coles about a picnic Thompson had gone on. Thompson testified that he did not recall the conversation. Later in the trial, to impeach Thompson’s credibility, Coles testified that Thompson had in fact told him that at the picnic in question, the conduct of the defendant and Mrs. Coles with each other was “disgraceful.” The trial court allowed Coles’s testimony about Thompson’s statement at the picnic and found in favor of Coles. Harsch appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Rossman, J.)

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