Unformatted text preview: SYLLABUS EVIDENCE: SPRING 2010 Professor Patrick T. Gillen JD, PhD. [email protected] Office Hours: Tuesday 11:15B12:30 (and by appointment for good cause shown) OVERVIEW OF COURSE Any lawyer actually involved in litigation soon confronts the force of the commonplace observation that Ait is one thing to believe something, quite another to prove it.@ In this course we study the rules governing the effort to prove something in the federal courts, i.e., the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) and related concepts. You should know that the subject of our study will also be highly relevant to rules of evidence adopted in various states because many of the state rules of evidence are based upon, or heavily influenced by, the FRE. As a result, if you have a thorough understanding of the FRE, you will find it relatively easy to operate under the rules of evidence enacted by the various states. The goal of this course is to help you understand the FRE so that you will pass this subject on the bar exam and be prepared to participate in litigation when you graduate. I urge you to invest the time and effort needed to understand this subject now while you have the opportunity to give it the serious attention it requires. The practice of law is a demanding undertaking. If you do not learn this subject now, you will have to do so laterBunder much more stressful circumstancesBwhen you have much less time to do soBand the consequences of error are much more serious than a poor grade on an examination. TEXTS We will use two texts for this course. Both are required. The primary text is Trial Evidence, Mauet & Wolfson (4th ed., Aspen). The secondary (but also required) text is Evidence: Problems and Materials, by Steven I. Friedland (3rd ed., LexisNexis). Evidence Spring 2010 Page 1 The primary text, Trial Evidence, takes the form of a treatise which is designed to lay out the law in a straight forward manner along with examples that illustrate how the evidentiary issues arise, and are addressed, in the setting of a hearing or trial. The text is accompanied by a CD with problems. You are required to have the problems in class, whether printed or loaded on your computers. The secondary (but also required) text, Evidence Problems and Materials, by Steven I. Friedland, will give us an opportunity to apply the rules to a variety of hypothetical problems. You must also bring this text to class. In addition, I have selected and assigned a number of cases. You are required to read these cases in preparation for the class for which they are assigned and I expect you to be able to brief these cases during class at my request. Read the assigned case with a focus on the topic listed on the syllabus in connection with the case, e.g., when you read the Foster case (assigned for class three), focus on its discussion of relevance. The cases provide examples of important points of law. If I were you, I would include them in my outline with a parenthetical that sets forth the ho...
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This document was uploaded on 04/08/2010.
- Spring '10