A return to the emotionally neutral fundamentals of the hearsay rule presents the clash between pragmatists and academicians in a setting which is free of the value laden considerations surrounding child abuse cases. This clash arises at the most fundamental level, that of defining hearsay. Many academicians favor a definition of hearsay as evidence whose reliability depends upon the veracity of someone not subject to cross-examination. Pragmatists (particularly trial lawyers) often find this formulation awkward and prefer a concise definition of hearsay as an out-of-court statement offered for the truth of the contents. The choice of definitions can make a profound difference with respect to: 1) assertions -implied within conduct; and 2) assertions implied within oral or written statements.

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