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. 001 - Evidence (Spring 2022)
Instructor: David Oppenheimer (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
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Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: In-Person
TuTh 2:10 PM - 3:25 PM
Location: Law 132
From January 11, 2022
To April 22, 2022
Course End: April 22, 2022
Class Number: 31483
This course is open to 1Ls.
Enroll Limit: 69
As of: 07/19 11:58 AM
This 3-unit course will explore the law of evidence as applied in American (primarily federal) courts, but with a different approach than a standard 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 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), two casefiles published by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA), and a problem set which I co-authored, which I will distribute for free.
Students should expect to participate in break-our sessions multiple times in each class meeting, and will be on call for 3 of the 14 weeks of the semester.
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).
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