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Thank you to the Georgia Law Review and the University of
Georgia School of Law for inviting me to discuss evidence reform
in the State of Georgia. As a trial lawyer, it is both an honor-and
a daunting task-to address such a distinguished group of
evidence scholars as have gathered here today.
More than 150 years ago, the author of Georgia's first evidence
code, Judge David Irwin, began with a simple principle: "The
object of all legal investigation is the discovery of truth."2 If that is
so, and I believe that it is, then an evidence code is a lens that
focuses the discovery and that brings truth into perspective. The
rules of evidence filter information, controlling what evidence a
jury may, and may not, hear as it weighs the claims before it.
They focus the jury's perception of the evidence before it, setting
the parameters of what a given piece of evidence does, or does not,
establish. They are fundamental to our system of justice and
affect, in a very real way, the manner in which legal proceedings
are conducted and whether the ultimate outcome is fair and just.

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