TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: April 5, 2012
RE: Rule 608, N.D.R.Ev., A Witness's Character for Truthfulness or Untruthfulness
Form and style amendments to Rule 608 consistent with the 2011 federal amendments are proposed. The amendments are not intended to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility.
The federal rulemakers decided not to put the language on self-incrimination into a separate subdivision, instead leaving it in a freestanding paragraph. Because our Rule 608 already had a subdivision on self-incrimination, the proposal retains this structure. The proposal also includes the language the federal rulemakers finally accepted, but their original proposal read: "A witness does not waive the privilege against self-incrimination by testifying about a matter that relates only to a character for truthfulness." The Committee may wish to discuss which language is clearer.