The trend in the United States is toward abolition of the common law rules and statutes which bar persons from testifying because they are interested in the outcome of the litigation. Nebraska, in Light v. Ash, appears to have taken a step away from this trend. This decision holds that for purposes of the "Deadman's Statute," in real property litigation, the residency or nonresidency of the spouse makes no difference, overruling a distinction relied upon for forty-one years. And this is despite that fact that there is a substantial property law difference: A resident spouse's real property interest cannot be defeated by an inter vivos transfer, a nonresident spouse's interest can be defeated by an inter vivos transfer. The court has extended the prohibition of the "Deadman's Statute" into areas of real property where the interests of resident and nonresident spouses are the same as their interests in personal property.
Victor J. Lich Jr.,
Deadman’s Statute—Nebraska Interpretation—Light v. Ash (Neb. 1963),
43 Neb. L. Rev. 641
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