California Bar Journal
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Self-Assessment Test
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Answer the following questions after reading the MCLE article on simulations. Use the answer form provided to send the test, along with a $20 processing fee, to the State Bar. Please allow at least eight weeks for MCLE certificates to reach you in the mail.

1. In order to admit a simulation into evidence, the proponent need only demonstrate its relevance.

2. In order to admit a simulation into evidence, the proponent must show it was conducted under "identical conditions as those of the actual occurrence."

3. A computer-generated simulation must take into account relevant, undisputed facts.

4. If evidence is outweighed by the probability of undue consumption of time and substantial danger of confusing or misleading the jury, it will not be admitted.

5. Computer-generated simulations may be excluded with less of a showing of prejudice than might be required of other evidence, because of the power of such evidence to influence the trier of fact.

6. A simulation should adhere closely and relatively objectively to the conceded facts and the facts which the evidence will support.

7. It is best to advise the court of a plan to make use of a simulation at trial no later than: (a) the filing of an answer; (b) the final status conference; or (c) the first day of trial.

8. A simulation must be an entirely accurate representation of testimony in the case.

9. A simulation may consist of some speculation if there is expert testimony supporting it.

10. A proponent of a simulation may depict any element argumentatively, as long as that is pointed out to the jury.

11. Normally, Evid. Code 352 requires the court to engage in a balancing test.

12. Computer simulations have an aura of credibility that may subject such evidence to rigorous scrutiny by the court under Evid. Code 352.

13. In Anello v. Southern Pacific Co., 174 Cal.App.2d 317 (1959), the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the trial court to exclude certain photographs of a train.

14. Counsel should rely on his or her experts, who will be preparing the simulation, to know what limits will apply to the use of the simulation.

15. Computer imaging allows a party to recreate a scene which no longer exists.

16. There is less chance of a computer simulation incorporating erroneous assumptions than a videotaped reconstruction.

17. Computer-generated simulations do not yet have a legitimate place in the courtroom.

18. "High tech" evidence such as computer-generated simulations are not subject to the usual rules of evidence.

19. The counsel's error in Anello v. Southern Pacific Co. 174 Cal.App.2d 317 (1959) was in adding details or enhancements to the train engine depiction that did not exist, rather than in attempting to depict the train engine's action.

20. Normally, the court need not indicate any reasons on the record why the prejudicial impact of excluded evidence substantially outweighs its probative value.


This activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1 hour.

The State Bar of California certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education.