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Cover Cross & Tapper on Evidence

VII. Character in general  

This chapter examines the evidence of the character of parties, witnesses, and third parties. Evidence of character has never been a model of coherence or clarity either at common law or under statute. It is complex, both in the connotation and means of proof of the concept of character, and in the variety of contexts in which it arises. The concept embraces both disposition, commonly described as propensity, to act in a relevant way, and sometimes the means of proof of such relevant disposition, either through reputation, the expressed belief of others of the subject's disposition, or of acts of the subject from which such disposition may be inferred. It may be relevant in any form of proceedings, and at any stage of a trial.