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A comprehensive study for understanding and applying the rules of evidence which is essential to the practice of law, whether civil or criminal, and whether in court rooms, board rooms, or client conferences, using the Federal Rules of Evidence and court precedents. The course is designed to provide knowledge and understanding that the rules of evidence affect nearly all aspects of the practice of law, lie at the heart of persuasion, and are required to advise clients of their legal rights and obligations. Persuasive advocacy is rooted in separating fact from fiction, is subject to adversarial testing and/or challenge by opposing counsel, triers of fact (judges/juries), reviewing courts, and clients (who often see “facts” differently). Study will include the law governing the proof of disputed issues of fact, functions of the court and jury, competence and examination of witnesses, standards of relevancy, privileged communications, illegal evidence, the hearsay rule, best evidence rule, authentication of evidence, and judicial notice.
Textbooks and Other Materials
The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.
Deborah Merritt & Ric Simmons, Learning Evidence: From the Federal Rules to the Courtroom (4th Ed., 2017) and 2020 Supplement (posted on class webpage).
First Class Readings
Use your MyAU username and password to access the syllabus in the following format(s):