For over a century, some courts—relying upon the landmark Supreme Court opinion in Mutual Life Insurance Co. of New York v. Hillmon— have admitted one person’s intentions as evidence of what another person did. But Hillmon is wrong. The Supreme Court made an analytical error in its analysis. This Article seeks to expose and explain the error and therefore demonstrate that the state of mind exception to the general rule of exclusion of hearsay evidence should never support admission of one person’s stated intentions as evidence of what another person later did.
Kenneth S. Klein,
The Enduring Quality of an Alluring Mistake: Why One Person’s Intentions Cannot—And Never Could—Be Evidence of Another Person’s Conduct,
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.law.cwsl.edu/fs/65