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Explore the concept of witness competence, including the requirements of personal knowledge and an oath or affirmation before a witness may testify at trial, as well as a discussion of special rules regarding when judges and jurors may act as witnesses.


In many cases, the most valuable evidence will often be testimony from a witness revealing what happened. If you’ve ever watched a trial, whether real or fictional, you know that one of the more exciting moments is when a witness takes the stand and answers questions. In federal courts, there are many rules that govern witnesses. Today, you’ll be learning about the issue of witness competency, or whether a person may or may not testify on the witness stand at trial.

To guide our discussion,...