[T]he conventional approach to teaching evidence illustrates what seems to me a common, though by no means universal, characteristic of legal education: that it tends to be at one and the same time both insufficiently practical and insufficiently theoretical. The traditional course in evidence manages, on the one hand, to avoid giving the student the flavor of the courtroom or the strategic dimension of evidence law and, on the other hand, to avoid giving the student the theoretical perspectives on evidence law, the sort of thing one finds, for example, in Peter Tillers' recent edited volume [The Dynamics of Judicial Proof: Computation, Logic, and Common Sense (Marilyn MacCrimmon & Peter Tillers ed. 2002)] The result is a course that many students find boring and useless.Of course, Judge Posner thinks that the right theoretical perspective on the law of evidence is given by economic theory. I think no evidence theory that fails to talk about the workings of inference is sufficient. But I give Judge Posner ample credit for pointing out the failings of conventional Evidence courses.
Sunday, August 01, 2010
Judge Richard Posner on the Teaching of the Law of Evidence
Richard Posner, "Clinical and Theoretical Approaches to the Teaching of Evidence and Trial Advocacy," 21 Quinnipiac Law Review 731, 736 (2003):