Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

State v. Spann

New Jersey Supreme Court
617 A.2d 247 (N.J. 1993)


Facts

Joseph Spann (defendant) was charged with sexual assault. At trial, the prosecution presented evidence that Spann was the father of the victim’s child. Specifically, an expert testified that there was a 96.55 percent statistical probability that Spann was the father. The expert used Bayes’ Theorem, which was a valid theory of probability accepted in the mathematics community, to combine blood-test results and an assumed prior probability of 50 percent to arrive at a 96.55 percent probability of paternity. On cross-examination, the expert stated that the prior probability of 50 percent was used because it equally considered the positions of the victim and Spann on whether he was the father. The expert described this 50 percent factor as neutral and objective. The expert was unaware of any of the other facts in the case. Spann was convicted of sexual assault. Spann appealed, arguing that the introduction of the expert witness’s testimony was an abuse of discretion.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 221,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.