This book breaks with tradition to provide both a theoretical and practical understanding of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Under the principle that learning is most effective when it is both challenging and fun, the book includes numerous courtroom-based problems, both to facilitate the students' theoretical understanding of the rules and to develop their ability to apply evidence rules in practice. A number of problems are based on scenarios drawn from films and TV shows, so instructors can show video clips in conjunction with the problems.
Evidence Law and Practice consistently provides examples, practice hints, explanations, and illustrations in the form of mini-transcripts. Each chapter begins with a checklist of important questions to be addressed for each subject area, followed by the pertinent provisions of the Federal Rules of Evidence, a subject overview, illustrations, examples, and problems. While appellate court opinions are not the primary text of this book, the ways that judges discuss evidence rules are important and a useful basis for classroom discussions. Consequently, many chapters provide summarized versions of relevant opinions.
Features of the Seventh Edition include:
- An expanded Appendix 2, which sets forth California Evidence Code provisions that differ in significant ways from the Federal Rules of Evidence and provide comparative approaches to evidence rule-making.
- An expansion of Chapter 19, which consists primarily of multiple-choice questions (and answers). Because many Evidence examinations include multiple-choice questions, the revised version of Chapter 19 will be especially helpful to students.
- Chapter 5 (Character Evidence), Chapter 8 (Lay Witness Opinions), and Chapter 9 (Expert Witnesses) have been completely rewritten under the leadership of Dustin Benham, the book's new co-author.
- A brand new Chapter 20, which presents evidentiary review exercises in the form of excerpts from actual historically significant trials. The cases from which the excerpts are taken include the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the O.J. Simpson trial, the Menendez Brothers trial, and the trial of Anderson v. W.R. Grace, the subject of the film A Civil Action. Analyses of the questions embedded in these transcripts are in the Teachers Manual.
The Teacher's Manual provides answers to every problem, exercise, and role-play. It also includes excerpts from recent scholarship on cutting-edge issues, answers (with explanations) to multiple-choice questions, and teaching hints. The Manual also includes a set of one of the co-author's teaching notes.