Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)

Article Title

Confrontation Confronted


The following article is an edited version of the amicus curiae brief filed with the Supreme Court of the United States in the October Term, 1998, in the case of Benjamin Lee Lilly v. Commonwealth of Virginia(No.98-5881). "This case raises important questions about the confrontation clause, which has been a vital ingredient of the fair trial right for hundreds of years," Professor Richard Friedman and his co-authors say. "In particular, this case presents the Court with an opportunity to reconsider the relationship between the confrontation clause and the law of hearsay." On June 10 the Court handed down a decision in favor of Lilly. Justice Stephen Breyer, a member of the plurality, wrote a concurring opinion citing this brief favorably and suggested that a future case might call for the Court to adopt its approach.