Exam Type: Last Class Take-Home and Short In-Class Examination
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 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 and before various administrative and arbitral tribunals. 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.
Assignments will be posted on the course Canvas site each week. Students will be expected to be prepared to participate in class discussion and solution of the assigned problems.
Evidence is a recommended prerequisite for the Trial Advocacy Workshop and can support certification for student practice in the Law School’s clinical offerings.
Text: The course text, problems, lecture notes, assignments, and additional materials will all be available electronically through the course Canvas site. Most of the materials are also available in Green, Nesson and Murray, Problems, Cases and Materials on Evidence, 4th Ed. (Aspen 2018). The problems that will be assigned are also available in print in Green, Nesson & Murray, Problems in Evidence. A current paperback copy of the restyled Federal Rules of Evidence will also be a convenience.