University of Wisconsin–Madison

940 Evidence I - §002, Spring 2014

Categories: Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution Appellate Practice

Instructor(s) Schwartz, David

Evidence I: Survey of the Rules of Evidence (2 credits)

This 2-credit, half-semester survey of the rules of evidence ends at the mid-point of the semester, and is designed to serve the needs of two groups of students: (1) those who wish to satisfy the diploma privilege Evidence requirement and/or obtain a solid grounding in evidence rules in preparation for the Multi-state bar exam; and (2) those who wish to go beyond goal #1 and learn the Evidence rules as a pre-requisite to Evidence II: Evidence for Litigators, which begins immediately after the conclusion of Evidence I and runs to the end of the semester.

The rules of evidence define how facts are proven in civil and criminal litigation. Focusing on the Federal Rules of Evidence, but with attention to Wisconsin evidence rules where those vary from the federal rules, this course will give students a broad survey of the rules combined with in-depth analysis of how they apply in specific circumstances and how the entire litigation process -- from the filing of a complaint to final judgment after trial and appeal -- is shaped by evidentiary principles. Analysis of appellate case law will play, at most, a very limited role in the course, and the teaching format will not be based primarily on lectures. Instead, class discussions will be centered around hands-on solving of specific problems. Simulation and role-playing will be used from time to time.
Assessment is based on class participation and an 8-hour take-home final exam.

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