Response: Exaggerated and Misleading Reports of the Death of Conditional Relevance

In 1980 the late Professor Vaughn C. Ball of the University of Georgia published an article called The Myth of Conditional Relevancy. Ball’s article is widely admired. One well-known evidence scholar, Ronald J. Allen, liked Ball’s article so much that he borrowed its title word for word. Although the extent of Allen’s enthusiasm for Ball’s analysis may be unmatched, a good number of students of evidence – including this writer – have said that Ball’s analysis of conditional relevance is both original and important. Richard Friedman, by contrast, cannot be counted as one of Ball’s more ardent admirers. Although Friedman does show due respect for Ball in his article in this issue of the Michigan Law Review, he also finds fault with some parts of Ball’s argument.