Prior Inconsistent Statements
PRIOR INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS
Communications made by a witness before the time he or she takes the stand to testify in an action that contradict subsequent testimony given on the same exact facts.
Prior inconsistent statements can be used in a lawsuit only to impeach (discredit) the trustworthiness of the witness' testimony. They cannot, however, be used to establish the truth of the matter they address.
The federal rules of evidence govern the use of prior inconsistent statements in federal courts.