245.01 Evidence

This course covers the limitations on the information that can be introduced in court codified in the Federal Rules of Evidence. We will first take up the issue of relevance, including the rules concerning the balance between the probative value and the prejudicial impact of evidence and the special problems of character and credibility. We will then address the rules pertaining to the reliability of evidence, particularly the prohibition against hearsay and its many exceptions, the constitutional constraints on the testimony offered during criminal trials, and the screening of scientific and expert testimony. The course concludes with an introduction to evidentiary privileges. Professor Griffin will focus on the text, legislative history, and common law roots and development of the rules. "Readings" in her course include cases, problems, some theoretical materials, and popular culture about trials. Professor Beskind will primarily assign readings in a treatise rather than individual cases. In his class, students will work from two case files, one criminal and one civil, taking the role of advocates and arguing the evidentiary principles being studied as they arise in the cases.

Spring 2021

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Final Exam
Class participation
Donald H. Beskind
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.245.01.Sp21
Email list: LAW.245.01.Sp21@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Requirements - Public Interest
Course Areas of Practice