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Monday, July 12 • 4:00pm - 5:15pm
G6: Hillmon's Bones: Solving a 19th Century Legal Mystery with 21st Century Research

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Target Audience: Instructors, legal historians and other professionals who want to learn the fascinating story behind one of the most famous exceptions to the hearsay rule; reference librarians who want to learn practical tips for approaching a multi-faceted historical legal research project
Learning Outcomes:
1. Participants will be able to explain the details of the Hillmon case, how this case created an exception to the "Hearsay Rule" of evidence, and if the findings of the 21st century research team support the creation of this exception.
2. Participants will be able to the describe research methods and resources that were used to solve the mystery of who was buried in John Hillmon's grave.

Mutual Life Insurance Company v. Hillmon is the landmark 1892 U.S. Supreme Court case that created Federal Rule of Evidence 803(3), which allows statements of intention to be admissible as evidence in court. Learn how a law professor's scholarly interest in this rule eventually lead to the exhumation of a corpse to prove who was buried in Hillmon's grave-and ultimately determined whether the Supreme Court erred in creating this rule. This fascinating case study also highlights the role of historical and legal research techniques and how various materials, formats and repositories (including the National Archives and local historical societies) played their own unique and valuable roles. This case has something for everyone-librarians, lawyers, unsolved mystery fans, and western history buffs.


Monday July 12, 2010 4:00pm - 5:15pm
CCC-Room 605-607

Attendees (89)