This course will examine the rules of evidence with a particular focus on how these rules are practically applied by litigators in the courtroom. The course will focus primarily on the Federal Rules of Evidence, with additional consideration given to recent developments in constitutional law. Topics covered in this course will include relevance, hearsay (and its many exceptions), expert evidence, lay and expert opinion, character evidence, and impeachment of witness. We will consider these rules pragmatically with an eye toward crafting the most effective arguments for an audience of judges.
- Students will analyze case law, including a close reading of cases and apply that law to fact
- Students will assess advocacy strategies by comparing the usefulness of different arguments in the courtroom
- Students will practice making and responding to objections with the goal of being able to quickly make such arguments in the courtroom
- Students will understand the policy arguments underlying the Rules of Evidence with the goal of being able to more fully understand their purpose.