Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.

241 sec. 002 - Evidence (Spring 2021)

Instructor: David Oppenheimer  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 3
Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


WF 08:35 AM - 09:50 AM
Location: Internet/Online
From January 20, 2021
To April 30, 2021

Course Start: January 20, 2021
Course End: April 30, 2021
Class Number (1Ls): 31658
Class Number: 31658

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 56
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 60
As of: 05/08 05:45 AM

This 3-unit course will explore the law of evidence as applied in American (primarily federal) courts, but with a different approach than the standard 4-unit course.

We will use an experiential learning-by-doing approach, with part of our class time spent with students arguing for the admission or exclusion of evidence, sometimes in the full Zoom room and sometimes in break out rooms, based on problems drawn from two simulated case-files. Both of the cases involve important but disturbing gender equality issues. One involves an allegation of Spousal Violence/Murder; the other is a civil sexual harassment in employment case. You will need to become familiar with every aspect of the two cases, and apply the law of evidence, as found in the Federal Rules of Evidence and a few case decisions, to argue why the law permits or prohibits the admission or exclusion of the evidence offered.

There is no traditional casebook in this class, and we will read only a handful of cases. We will use a "hornbook" (which is available free through the Berkeley Law Library subscription to Foundation Press study aids), the Federal Rules of Evidence (which are available for free online), and two casefiles published by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA).

Students should expect to be on call in all class meetings. Students will be assigned a number from 1 - 4, which will determine which side they will represent in the two cases, and what role they will take in various exercises. Students will at times enter strategy sessions in break-out rooms with other students on their number, and more commonly work in groups of 4, in adversary role plays.

Class will meet two days a week for 75 minutes/class.

Course coverage will include relevance, character evidence, witness examination, offers of evidence (and thus objections to offers of evidence), authentication of documents and other physical evidence, motions in limine, impeachment and rehabilitation, privileges, opinion testimony, scientific evidence, and hearsay.

Grades will be based on two mid-term exams, a final exam, and class participation. Here is the grading formula:
• The two mid-term exams, which will be take-homes, will each consist of 15 multiple choice questions worth 1 point for each question (a total of 30 points). At least some of the questions and answers will be subsequently reviewed in class for formative assessment purposes;
• The final exam, which will be a take-home, will include ten short problems requiring you to support the admission or exclusion of evidence with a limit of 150 words each, worth 40 total points (4 points each), and 18 multiple-choice questions worth 1 point for each question (a total of 58 points);
• Up to 12 class participation points will be awarded as follows. Four points will be awarded when a student is called on, is prepared, and satisfactorily participates. Thus, if you are called on and pass, or you are not present, or you are clearly not prepared, you’ll have lost an opportunity to earn four participation points. My goal is to give every student at least 3-4 opportunities to earn participation points (and to award 12 participation points to every student). If you enroll in this class, you should expect to be called on regularly.

Due to the nature of this class, real-time attendance is required (without an alternative way to earn equivalent credit) except in cases of illness or emergency.

Exam Notes: (TH) Take-home examination
Course Category: Litigation and Procedure

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Required Books are in blue

  • Evidence Law, A Student's Guide to the Law of Evidence as Applied in American Trials, 4th
    Roger C. Park, David P. Leonard, Aviva Orenstein, Dale Nance, Steven Goldberg,
    Edition: 4th (2018)
    Publisher: West
    ISBN: 9781634609357
    e-Book Available: Yes
    e-Book procurement note: Available through the Berkeley Law Library subscription to Foundation Press/West study aids for FREE
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: $118.00
    Price Source: user provided
  • Evidence in Context
    Moberly, Burns, Lubet
    Edition: 5th 2017
    ISBN: 9781601565853
    e-Book Available: Yes
    e-Book procurement note:
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: 82.50
    Price Source: user provided
  • Rowe v. Pacific Quad, Inc.
    Edition: 6th / 2019
    ISBN: 9781601568076
    e-Book Available: Yes
    e-Book procurement note:
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: 42.00
    Price Source: user provided

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