Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 5

SOUTHWESTERN LAW SCHOOL

Fall 2016
EVIDENCE
SYLLABUS, COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING CRITERIA

Professor Mark Cammack


Tel: (213) 738-6779; Email: mcammack@swlaw.edu
This course provides a comprehensive survey of the rules governing admission of evidence in
judicial trials. You will be examined on the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE), which are the law
in federal courts. Throughout the course we will give considerable attention to the principles and
policies that underlie the admission of evidence in common law trials. A mastery of these more
general principles will enable you easily to become proficient in the evidence law of another
jurisdiction.
After completing the course you will be able to:
1) Articulate the purposes of evidence admissibility rules that shield the fact-finder from
certain facts in relation to the objectives of judicial trials and critically analyze the ways in
which the Federal Rules of Evidence either do or do not realize those objectives.
2) Apply the Federal Rules of Evidence to simulated trial sequences in order to identify
possible objects to admissibility;
3) Apply the Federal Rules of Evidence to factual scenarios that involve offering evidence at
trial and construct arguments for and against admission of the evidence under the Rules.
I.

Course Materials
A.

Required Texts

The text for the course is DEBORAH JONES MERRITT & RIC SIMMONS, LEARNING EVIDENCE: FROM
THE FEDERAL RULES TO THE COURTROOM (3d ed.). This book provides clear explanations of the
rules and their application. However, if you wish to supplement the reading from the text with
another book there are a number of good options. One especially useful book that deals exclusively
with the hearsay rule and exceptions is CLIFFORD FISHMAN, A STUDENTS GUIDE TO HEARSAY.

II.

Course Requirements
A.

Class Preparation

The textbook is built around short fact patterns that raise issues under the law of evidence followed
by an analysis of the application of the relevant rule to the facts. In preparation for each class you
should work through each of these examples and the explanation of the application of the rules.
During class we will review the rules covered for that day and the illustrations contained in the
text. The class discussion will require you to apply what you have learned by analyzing additional
examples of the application of the rules to a set of facts.
In addition to the reading assignments, you are also required to complete a quiz before each class.
The quizzes will consist of five to ten multiple choice and true false questions dealing with the
rules discussed in the reading assignment. Access to the quizzes will be through the quiz function
on the course TWEN site.
B.

Attendance

Please be advised that Southwestern Law School, as an ABA accredited law school, has policies
and procedures on the requirement of attendance in all law school classes. As a professional school,
Southwestern will assume absences are for compelling reasons and will be taken only when
necessary. The policy is strictly enforced because of the belief that attending class is critical to the
learning process. Please see the current Student Handbook for the complete policy on attendance.
C.

Grading Criteria and Evaluation

Your grade for the course will be based on a mid-term examination and a comprehensive final
examination. The mid-term will consist of one hour of multiple choice questions, and will
constitute 25% of your grade. The balance of your grade will be based on the final, which will be
three hours long and will cover the entire course. The final exam will consist of a one hour multiple
choice exam and a two hour essay exam.
Grades for this course will be awarded based upon an alphabetical system and will strictly follow
Southwesterns grading policies. After a grade is awarded for the course, I am happy to discuss
ways to improve a students performance. In accordance with law school policy, however,
assigned grades will not, and cannot, be changed except for mathematical/clerical errors. No grade
can be changed, for any reason, ninety days after the final grade has been posted or the examination
has been made available to the student in the Registration Office, whichever is later.

D.

Special Rules Regarding Electronic Devices

Recording of class meetings is permitted only if the professor is first asked and gives permission.
Recording a class without permission is prohibited. If a student is granted permission, recording
is conditioned upon the students agreement to share any recording with any classmate who makes
a reasonable request.
E.

Office Hours/Instructor Availability

During the fall semester my office hours will be on Mondays from 4:00 5:30 and Thursdays from
3:30 5:00. I am often available on campus outside of regular office hours, and I encourage you
to arrange an appointment or drop by my office. My office is in BW-403. I can be reached by
telephone at (213) 738-6779 or by email at mcammack@swlaw.edu.
III.

Statement of Reasonable Accommodations

Students who need accommodations due to disabilities should contact the Dean of Students and
Diversity Affairs Office. The office is located in W102 and can be reached at (213) 738-6888 or
disability@swlaw.edu.
It is the policy and practice of Southwestern Law School to comply with the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act, and state and local requirements regarding students and applicants with
disabilities. Southwestern will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations for
students with medical, attentional, psychological, learning, or temporary disabilities.
Accommodations are not provided to give a student an unfair advantage over other students, but
simply to allow a student with disabilities to have an equal opportunity to be successful.
A student has the responsibility to meet with the Dean of Students and Diversity Affairs Office as
early as possible to discuss his or her request for special accommodations. Students who do not
seek accommodations need not make their disabilities known. Further information regarding
procedures, policies and documentation required is available in the Student Handbook.
IV.

Assignments

The reading assignments and topics covered in this class are set forth below. The assigned readings
are due before class. Assignments are subject to change or supplementation.

Date

Topic

Reading

FRE

8-18

Introduction

1-54

103, 105

8-23

Relevance; Unfair Prejudice

55-88

401, 402,
403

8-25

Subsequent Remedial
Measures; Settlements &
Offers to Compromise

88-126

407, 408

8-30

Presentation of Witness
Testimony; Impeachment

157-73,
195-216

601, 602,
607, 612

9-1

Impeachment with Prior


Statements

217-235

611, 613

9-8

Impeachment with Character


EvidenceBad Acts and
Convictions

236-267

404(a),
608(b)(1),
609

9-13

Impeachment with Character


EvidenceReputation and
Opinion

269-282

608(a)

9-15

Character Evidence; Methods


of Proving Character

293-318

404(a)(1),
405

9-20

Character of the Accused and


Victim

319-328

404(a)(2)

9-22

Uncharged Misconduct
Evidence

329-367

404(b)

9-27

Habit; Rape Shield

369-397

406, 412

9-29

Character in Sexual Assault


Cases

398-405

413, 414,
415

10-4

Preliminary Questions;
Authentication

406-23,
868-84

104, 901,
902

10-6

Best Evidence Rule

885-903

1001, 1002,
1003, 1004

425-450

801(b), (c),
802

451-460

801(a)

10-13 Midterm
10-18

Hearsay: Truth of the Matter


Asserted

10-20 Hearsay: Statement

Date

Topic

Reading

FRE

10-25 Prior Statements of Witnesses 461-490

801(d)(1)

Excited Utterance; Present


10-27 Sense Impression; State of
Mind

491-522

803(1), (2),
(3)

11-1

Medical Treatment; Recorded


Recollection; Hearsay within
Hearsay

523-553

803(4), (5),
805

11-3

Business Records; Public


Records

554-80

803(6), (8)

11-8

Unavailability of Declarant;
Former Testimony; Dying
Declaration

594-617

804(a),
(b)(1), (b)(2)

11-10

Declaration against Interest;


Forfeiture

618-634

804(b)(3),
(b)(6)

11-15

Statements by Opposing
Parties

635-664

801(d)(2)(A)(D)

11-17

Co-conspirator Statements;
Residual Exception

665-690

801(d)(2)(E),
80

11-29 Confrontation

699-730

12-5

743-72,
781-98

Opinion and Experts

701, 702,
703, 705