Categories: Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution Appellate Practice
The rules of evidence define how facts are proven in civil and criminal litigation. While this body of law is set in the context of formal trial practice, understanding evidentiary principles provides the foundation for advice and negotiations in law practices of all types. The course will focus on the Federal Rules of Evidence while noting significant differences with important Wisconsin Rules of Evidence. Students will gain a broad, working knowledge of evidentiary rules and their foundational policies along with an in-depth understanding of how to apply specific rules in specific circumstances. With an emphasis on the practical application of the rules of evidence, analysis of appellate case law will play a limited role in the course. Instead, class discussions will emphasize hands-on solving of specific problems, formulating questions, making and ruling on objections, and planning how to get facts before a jury or judge. From time to time students will learn through presenting an assigned rule to the class and answering related evidentiary problems, as well as role-playing in realistic trial simulations.
COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES:
When students successfully complete this course, they should:
1. Be capable of applying the Rules of Evidence to determine the admissibility of evidence in a litigation context.
2. Be capable of contemplating and incorporating the effects of the Rules of Evidence when structuring transactions and interactions even where there is no litigation.
3. Be capable of identifying how the Wisconsin Rules of Evidence materially differ from the Federal Rules of Evidence.
4. Be prepared to succeed in a Trial Advocacy or Advanced Trial Advocacy course given established fluency in the Rules of Evidence, allowing students to focus on learning and effectively practicing trial skills.