Question for those who have taken Evidence before.

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Gamecubesupreme
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Question for those who have taken Evidence before.

Postby Gamecubesupreme » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:22 pm

My professor already told the class more than half of the exam will be on Hearsay and Privileges. The exam will be 100% multiple choice closed book.

However, we won't learn about those two topics until October.

Would it be wise for me to start practicing Hearsay questions in September? Or should I wait until my professor actually reaches the topics in October?

I'm just worried because I hear Hearsay is a difficult concept to fully grasp, so I want to make sure I have it down cold for the exam.

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quiver
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Re: Question for those who have taken Evidence before.

Postby quiver » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:54 pm

It depends IMO. If you have a professor that's good at explaining these concepts and giving you the BLL straight out, then you should be fine doing practice questions from the end of the hearsay unit to the exam. If your professor sucks and you basically have to teach yourself the concepts anyway, it might be more beneficial to start learning the stuff now. Also depends on your learning style too.

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kalvano
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Re: Question for those who have taken Evidence before.

Postby kalvano » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:37 pm

Read the E&E on hearsay, it's really good. That will give you a good background.

Hearsay is really really simple once you get it, but it's hard to get.

zomginternets
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Re: Question for those who have taken Evidence before.

Postby zomginternets » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:46 pm

kalvano wrote:Read the E&E on hearsay, it's really good. That will give you a good background.

Hearsay is really really simple once you get it, but it's hard to get.


This. Just read the E&E prior to your class discussions on hearsay. Don't try to memorize all of the exceptions or anything yet, just get a good idea of what hearsay is, why the rule exists, etc. It will make class discussions much more productive.

Don't bother doing practice exams until you've gone over the material in class.

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smokyroom26
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Re: Question for those who have taken Evidence before.

Postby smokyroom26 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:04 am

You're welcome. (LinkRemoved)

Kind
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Re: Question for those who have taken Evidence before.

Postby Kind » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:35 pm

Memorize:

Hearsay is: evidence of an out-of-court statement, offered to prove its own truth. cf. FRE 801(c)

Out of court- not presently testifying while making the statement

Statement- requires an intention to make an assertion (statement of fact or that a condtion exists) 801 (a)

Prove its own truth- if proponent is not trying to prove the truth of the statement for substantive purposes, then it is not hearsay.

Your professor will either: spend all day talking about policy, or asking a bunch of questions and providing cryptic answers, or will gloss right over hearsay, b/c many profs have given up on it. (the bar examiners remember it tho) I know, b/c I wrote a master's thesis for my LL.M. on teaching evidence. FWIW, defining hearsay is the single most difficult concept to master in law school. It has been compared to trying to hold mercury in your hand.

Tips:

First- Find the declarant. 801 b (person who made the statement) It is impossible to analyze hearsay without knowng the players. The declarant is the key player. Without an intention to assert by the declarant, there is no hearsay.
Isolate the statement.

Criminal or civil?
What is this evidence being offered to prove? (for example, impeachment purpose is not hearsay)
Is the declarant a party? (or someone closely associated with a party) If so, see admissions doctrine- 801(d)(2) A-E
who is on the stand? I like to refer to this person as the "witness-reporter"
Are there any other reporters? (Hearsay on hearsay, aka 'totem pole hearsay'- he told her, she told me, etc.) See FRE 805

Waiting until it is the topic of the day is not really recommended. If you remember the rule 'evidence of an out-of-court statement, offered to prove its own truth' you will at least be ahead of the rest of the class, IMHO.

G/L

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kalvano
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Re: Question for those who have taken Evidence before.

Postby kalvano » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:02 pm

Or just read the E&E. It offers a much better introduction to hearsay.

I never read for Evidence. I used an old outline, CALI lessons to prep for M/C and the E&E for understanding. I did really well.

The above is good but it's not everything and it doesn't offer a good background / understanding of hearsay.

hiima3L
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Re: Question for those who have taken Evidence before.

Postby hiima3L » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:34 pm

Do as many multiple choice questions as you can. Evidence is the one class where an MPQ test makes sense IMO because there are clear cut right and wrong answers. The only way to REALLY learn evidence, especially hearsay, is through practice questions. You can memorize the rules but not understand how/when they apply.

I recommend law in a flash flashcards and after studying for the bar, evidence bar materials. Adaptibar has a ton of NCBE questions that were REALLY helpful for evidence.

henry flower
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Re: Question for those who have taken Evidence before.

Postby henry flower » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:05 pm

kalvano wrote:Or just read the E&E. It offers a much better introduction to hearsay.

I never read for Evidence. I used an old outline, CALI lessons to prep for M/C and the E&E for understanding. I did really well.

The above is good but it's not everything and it doesn't offer a good background / understanding of hearsay.


Reading for Evidence is mostly unneeded. In my class, caselaw was irrelevant, except for Old Chief and Scalia's gonzo confrontation clause opinions. I agree that the E&E is pretty solid, so you should get it. I ended up using Siegel's multiple choice, which was helpful too. My casebook, Fisher, was actually a real treat as well, with tons of practice problems.

But, be careful. Hearsay is something that different professors approach in different ways, and you should use whatever analysis your professor prefers, instead of relying too heavily on a hornbook. You'll also want to pay attention to whether your professor is interested in the philosophical dimensions of hearsay (and evidence law in general) or is a practical, trial-oriented guy.

Weirdly, our class was 90% hearsay, but the exam was mostly impeachment and character evidence. Also, while hearsay is a semi-challenging concept, getting out a good Daubert analysis in an exam is probably tougher (so many factors!).

henry flower
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Re: Question for those who have taken Evidence before.

Postby henry flower » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:12 pm

hiima3L wrote:Do as many multiple choice questions as you can. Evidence is the one class where an MPQ test makes sense IMO because there are clear cut right and wrong answers. The only way to REALLY learn evidence, especially hearsay, is through practice questions. You can memorize the rules but not understand how/when they apply.

I recommend law in a flash flashcards and after studying for the bar, evidence bar materials. Adaptibar has a ton of NCBE questions that were REALLY helpful for evidence.


There's more gray area than you think--if that weren't so, evidence issues wouldn't be so hotly contested in every trial ever. Like anything in law school, it all depends on how your professor approaches it. Hearsay and character evidence, in particular, can be quite ambiguous.

It's a sneaky class. The specialized rules (insurance, subsequent improvements, etc.) seem the most straightforward. However, on my exam, they only appeared in contexts where applying the rule ran against the policy the rule was intended to promote. If you didn't spot that and spin out some arguments, you were losing half the points.

hiima3L
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Re: Question for those who have taken Evidence before.

Postby hiima3L » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:33 am

henry flower wrote:
hiima3L wrote:Do as many multiple choice questions as you can. Evidence is the one class where an MPQ test makes sense IMO because there are clear cut right and wrong answers. The only way to REALLY learn evidence, especially hearsay, is through practice questions. You can memorize the rules but not understand how/when they apply.

I recommend law in a flash flashcards and after studying for the bar, evidence bar materials. Adaptibar has a ton of NCBE questions that were REALLY helpful for evidence.


There's more gray area than you think--if that weren't so, evidence issues wouldn't be so hotly contested in every trial ever. Like anything in law school, it all depends on how your professor approaches it. Hearsay and character evidence, in particular, can be quite ambiguous.


Of course, but not for OP's multiple choice final. Mine was 1/2 MPQs and they all had clearly correct answers.




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