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Evidence: Cases, Materials, and Problems is predicated more than ever on the notion that the Federal Rules of Evidence, their state progeny, and cases arising under them, are the major factors in the teaching of Evidence today. The authors have made some changes to build the book more explicitly around the Rules. Interesting or informative cases or materials from other jurisdictions or the common law are still included where those materials shed light on an issue or impart perspective by showing other ways of doing things. For instance, the significant differences such as those in California are highlighted while the authors still use the Federal Rules as the basic organizing principle for this edition.
Within each of the topics throughout the book, the authors have introduced some organizational innovations. Each topic usually opens with a box containing the text of the appropriate Federal Rule of Evidence (or, in the cases of particular privileges, the Uniform Rule of Evidence codifying the privilege) in order to focus attention and to provide a "rudder". This box is followed by a brief background explanation of the area, if needed. Then come some essential and teachable cases and other primary materials, each usually followed by a set of expository notes (including some questions) exploring permutations and implications, and finally, some problems testing whether students can apply or critique what they have learned and integrate it with other topics and rules where necessary. Each note, question, or problem has a heading indicating what it treats, so that professors are able to identify the subjects they wish to cover, while students receive direction about the intended focus of each inquiry. All decisions cited by the authors in textual passages, notes, questions, and problems are followed by at least a few words describing the holding.
The materials in this book cover a wide range of perspectives from intensely pragmatic concerns, through deeply philosophical policy issues, to new approaches to evidentiary analysis. Included are textual explanations, rules, cases, notes, questions, problems, jury instructions, articles, proposals, legislation, and excerpted testimony. Assignments may be tailored to suit the teacher's own preferences on how to best approach Evidence in an introductory course.