The law of evidence regulates the presentation of factual information in the Anglo-American jury trial process and legitimates the outcomes of that process. In a wider sense, the concept of evidence embraces the process of proof of facts in any legal proceeding.
In this intensive course, evidence law is presented and studied in the context of American trial advocacy with some comparative perspectives on fact-finding in various legal systems. The course is structured around the Federal Rules of Evidence but also includes evidence issues from other sources. The basic topics of relevance, hearsay, form of direct and cross examination, rules of exclusion, illustrative aids, impeachment, authenticity, expert testimony, best evidence, privilege, and unfair prejudice will be covered through study and discussion of trial problems as well as of rules and cases. The course also includes computer-aided video exercises in simulated trial settings.
Evidence is a recommended prerequisite for the Trial Advocacy Workshop and can support certification for student practice in some of the Law School's clinical offerings.
Text: The course text, lecture notes, assignments, and additional materials will be available on the course website. Most of the materials are available in Green, Nesson and Murray, Problems, Cases and Materials on Evidence (Aspen 2000). A more or less current paperback copy of the restyled Federal Rules of Evidence will be a convenience.