Washington State Rule of Evidence ER 605 prevents the judge presiding at a trial from testifying as a witness in the trial. This rule is in place to ensure that the judge does not influence the outcome of the case.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, the judge may be able to testify if they are a party to the case, or if their testimony is necessary to clarify a matter of law.
The rule of evidence ER 605 is important because it helps to ensure that trials are fair and impartial. If the judge were allowed to testify, they would have a significant amount of influence over the jury, and this could potentially lead to an unfair trial.
The rule also helps to ensure that the judge is impartial. If the judge were allowed to testify, they would be able to provide their own personal opinions on the matter at hand, and this could potentially bias the jury.
Here are some additional details about the rule of evidence ER 605:
- The rule applies to all judges, regardless of their level of experience or seniority.
- The rule applies to all types of cases, including criminal cases, civil cases, and administrative hearings.
- The rule can be waived by both parties in a case, but this is rarely done.
- The rule can be challenged by either party in a case, but this is also rarely successful.
You can read ER 605 here: https://www.courts.wa.gov/court_rules/pdf/ER/GA_ER_06_05_00.pdf
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