res gestae

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Res gestae is a Latin term meaning “things done” or “things transacted.” It refers to the events or circumstances at issue, as well as other events that are contemporaneous with or related to them. Courts previously employed this term in order to admit otherwise inadmissible hearsay. The term is not used much now. In evidence law, for example, the Federal Rules of Evidence, Rules 803(1)[“present sense impression”], 803(2)[“excited utterance”], 803(3)[“declaration of existing physical condition”], and 803(4)[“declaration of past physical condition"], now specifically encompass and limit what was previously used as res gestae.

[Last updated in May of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]