Hearsay Evidence In District of Columbia
"'Hearsay' is a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted." FED. R. EVID. 801 (c).
Although the Federal Rules of Evidence do not apply in the District of Columbia, "the definition of hearsay in Rule 801 (c) is consistent with well-settled law in the District of Columbia and elsewhere." Carter v. United States, 614 A.2d 542, 545 n.9 (D.C. 1992) (citing Jenkins v. United States, 415 A.2d 545, 547 (D.C. 1980); Morris v. United States, 389 A.2d 1346, 1349-50 (D.C. 1978)).
"From this definition it logically follows that if a statement is not offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted, it is not hearsay." Id.
For example, "proof of oral utterances by the parties in a contract suit constituting the offer and acceptance which brought the contract into being are not evidence of assertions offered testimonially but rather verbal conduct to which the law attaches duties and liabilities." MCCORMICK ON EVIDENCE, supra note 4, 249, at 100. See Hydrite Chem. Co. v. Calumet Lubricants Co., 47 F.3d 887, 892 (7th Cir. 1995) ("It is direct evidence, not hearsay, when a party to a dispute over a contract testifies to the offer or the acceptance made by the other contracting party.").
See, e.g., Taylor v. United States, 603 A.2d 451, 461 (D.C. 1992) (holding that accusation that someone was a "snitch" was not hearsay because it was not offered for its truth, but to show that the accusation was in fact made), cert. denied sub nom. Jones v. United States, 506 U.S. 852, 121 L. Ed. 2d 105, 113 S. Ct. 155 (1992).