Law 682: Evidence
This course teaches the principles and process of proving facts at trial. Until fairly recently, the regulating rules were governed by the common law. But most jurisdictions now codify their evidence rules, and this course focuses on the Federal Rules of Evidence, which have been highly influential on state codes. This course begins with the concept of relevance, and the limits upon the receipt of relevant evidence. These limits may be imposed for purely practical reasons, or to advance some extrinsic policy. For example, the Rules limit the admissibility of character evidence and sexual history in rape cases. The course also teaches the Hearsay Doctrine, with consideration of its constitutional underpinnings in criminal cases, and its exceptions. You will also learn about witness testimony and the process of testing credibility via cross examination and impeachment. This will also cover the use of expert testimony and scientific evidence, authentication of documents and other physical evidence, and the Best Evidence Doctrine. The course may also cover the rules of privilege, and the burdens of production and persuasion. (These extended topics are more likely to be covered in the four hour version of this course.)
Sequence and Prerequisite: None. Evidence is a prerequisite for several upper-level courses.
Evaluation: Administered final examination