Evidence is a powerful tool for persuasion. In a courtroom, the rules of evidence guide what a jury hears which, in turn, affect the decisions reached. Future litigators and non-litigators alike benefit from a course in evidence. Litigators who understand the rules, including the bases for the rules and the reasoning behind the many exceptions to the rules, are well-positioned to persuade judges, juries and even opposing counsel about the merits of their positions. Non-litigators benefit from knowing evidentiary logic, rules, and strategies because attorneys in all areas must rely on evidence to analyze and advance their clients¿ causes. The focus of this course is the Federal Rules of Evidence. Key topics include relevance, character, witness impeachment, hearsay, and experts. Evaluation: Grades will be based primarily on two equally-weighted exams (true/false, multiple choice, short answers, & essays) near the middle and end of the semester. Class participation counts toward the final grade as well. There is no final exam. Teaching Method: The teaching method is primarily lecture and student problem-solving, with plenty of opportunity for interaction. Course Materials: Deborah Jones Merritt & Ric Simmons, Learning Evidence: From the Federal Rules to the Courtroom, Second Edition (West 2012). ISBN-13: 978-0-314-27540-0. Reading supplements, practice problems (with answers), and post-lecture slides are also provided.
Catalog Number: LITARB 630J