Categories: Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution Law Practice Skills Criminal Law

Section 001, Evidence ("Evidence for Litigators") - Schwartz, David

Course Page for Fall 2021 - Schwartz, David

“Evidence for Litigators” is a four-credit basic evidence course that covers the same rules and doctrines as the regular Evidence course, but uses an active-learning approach. Rather than a traditional socratic lecture, the class meetings will emphasize discussions of problems, group work, and litigation-skills exercises and simulations. In place of a traditional final exam, students will do a final project based on analyzing a realistic case file and will write and argue an evidence motion. The course is recommended both for students who are interested in a civil or criminal litigation practice, as well as students who feel they would benefit from a hands-on learning approach to the rules of evidence.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Fall 2021
Fall 2020
Fall 2019

Section 002, Evidence - McNamara, Nicholas

Course Page for Fall 2021 - McNamara, Nicholas

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.


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.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Fall 2021
Fall 2020