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Anthony Ambrosio and several others sued Mary Lou Omictin for illegal recruitment. Omictin was convicted. On appeal, Omictin argued that the testimony of Ambrosio in court that he gave money to Omictin should be declared as self-serving hence inadmissible in evidence because of the fact that Ambrosio did not present any receipt to support his testimony.
ISSUE: Whether or not Ambrosio’s testimony is self-serving.
HELD: No. Omictin’s understanding of self-serving statement is wrong. Self-serving statements are those made by a party out of court advocating his own interest; they do not include a party’s testimony as a witness in court. Based on these standards, Ambrosio’s testimony is not self-serving and is admissible in evidence.
Self-serving statements are inadmissible because the adverse party is not given the opportunity for cross-examination, and their admission would encourage fabrication of testimony. This cannot be said of a party’s testimony in court made under oath, with full opportunity on the part of the opposing party for cross-examination.
The common objection known as “self-serving” is not correct because almost all testimonies are self-serving. The proper basis for objection is “hearsay” (Wenke, Making and Meeting Objections, 69).