EVIDENCE FOR TRIAL LAWYERS
(LAWJ-4087) - 2 UNITS
This class is designed to teach evidence for trial lawyers by utilizing real life case scenarios from the Federal Public Defender's office. We will explore in depth, specific Federal Rules of Evidence as they were litigated in actual cases. The class will use the case files from the FPD office that consist of various documents including discovery, indictments, trial memorandums, motions in limine, in camera proffers, expert reports, transcripts, and Ninth Circuit opinions, relating to litigation surrounding the most commonly litigated rules of evidence. These may include FRE 404 (b), 412/413, 608(b)/609, 612/613, 702-705, various aspects of 801, and 803 & 804 hearsay exceptions.
We will combine motions writing, oral advocacy, and trial advocacy to develop a substantive understanding of how discrete evidentiary issues play out in real life. We will also explore the strategic intersection of how the 5th Amendment, Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16, and trial strategy come into play in when and how to litigate these issues. With some variation, each week students will read the case file pertaining to a particular FRE. Every student will write a one-two page summary of the casefile and the application of the FRE in the context of the case each week. That assignment will be credit/no credit. There will be a presentation on the FRE including a case overview with a class discussion followed by oral arguments. Students will be assigned in advance to argue a particular rule/case. Those oral arguments are considered part of the in class performance aspect of the final grade. Some weeks we may work with more than one casefile. Attendance is mandatory. Some weeks we will have the outstanding lawyers involved in the particular case as guest presenters. All case materials will be provided via TWEN or through the graphics department. Students will also need a copy of the Federal Rules of Evidence. There will be one in-class mid-term exam. The final will be a take-home written motion followed by oral argument.