by Mac McCall*
Out-of-court statements are routinely introduced into evidence for their truth against criminal defendants under the aegis of the admissions doctrine. At the same time, many courts refuse to apply the doctrine with equal severity in admitting similar statements against the government as a prosecuting party. Some courts insist that the doctrine is uniquely inapplicable against governmental parties,1 while others require proponents of such evidence to clear heightened hurdles for admission. State and federal courts should bring order and equity to this corner of evidence law by adhering to the following three principles. First, the admissions doctrine is just as conceptually applicable to governments as any other party. Second, the legislatively articulated rules of evidence are sufficient to govern questions of admissibility for this kind of evidence without the assistance of extraneous judicially imposed restrictions. Finally, courts should take note of functional and formal realities in determining the extent of the “opposing party” when the government is in play.