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Name: People v. Davis
Case #: C061536
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/12/2011
Subsequent History: 1/11/2012 rev. granted (S198061)
Summary

Medical operative reports relied on by an expert witness are not testimonial for purpose of the Confrontation Clause. Appellant was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and mayhem. At trial, a physician who participated in the victim’s discharge from the hospital, testified as an expert witness. In the course of his testimony, the physician referred to operative reports by other doctors who treated the victim and described them as business records. The other doctors did not testify. The reports described the degree of injury to the victim and were critical to determination of the mayhem charge. They were entered into evidence without objection. The appellate court rejected appellant’s argument that appellant’s 6th Amendment rights, on confrontational grounds, were violated. Summarizing the relevant U.S. Supreme Court opinions on this issue, the court found that the reports did not constitute an out-of-court substitute for trial testimony, so as to invoke the protection of the Confrontation Clause. (Crawford v. Washington (2004) 541 U.S. 36; Davis v. Washington (2006) 547 U.S. 813; Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (2009) 557 U.S. ___ [174 L.Ed.2d 314, 129 S.Ct. 2527] [165 L.Ed.2d 224, 126 S.Ct. 2266]; Michigan v. Bryant (2011) 562 U.S. ___ [179 L.Ed.2d 93, 131 S.Ct. 1143]; Bullcoming v. New Mexico (2011) 564 U.S. ___ [180 L.Ed.2d 610, 131 S.Ct. 2705].)