GENERAL ADVICE ON THE FINAL EXAM.

1. The final exam will be around 12 questions for which you will have 2.5 hours. All questions will require you to make an objection or respond to an objection. You will be making an argument. That requires you to TAKE A POSITION.

2. You will have a limited amount of space in which to write your answer, and your entire answer must fit in the spaces provided. You will turn in the exam with your answers written on it -- no bluebooks.

3. Throughout the exam, assume the case is being tried to a jury. Base your answers on the Federal Rules of Evidence and all generally recognized interpretations of the rules of evidence. Ignore any tactical considerations.

4. The exam is to be taken closed book & no notes. I will provide the relevant Fed. R. Evid.

5. Don't panic if you don't know the answer to one question. I will ask a couple of questions that are essentially unanswerable. Getting around 50% of the available points puts you in the B range; 75% will put you in the running for the A-star. Perfection is not expected.

6. Before you plunge in and start writing, make sure you understand the basic facts of the case:
a. Who are the parties?
b. What is the cause of action?
c. What is the central event?
d What are plaintiff's basic allegations?
e. What is defendant's response.
f. Are there any affirmative defenses?
You need to know this for Relevancy, Helpfulness of opinions, and for a number of hearsay responses, especially "not for its truth," state of mind, and admissions

6. Remember that the best objection or response will not necessarily be the one that first pops into your mind. To combat the natural tendency to jump to conclusions, you may want to adopt the following strategy:
a. Decide what is the most likely evidence rule that will control the outcome.
b. Try to think of another rule that might also control the outcome.
c. Analyze both approaches (in your head or on scratch paper).
d. If you have a stronger argument under one rule than the other, use only the stronger argument.
e. If you have strong arguments under both rules, use them both.
f. If you have weak arguments under both rules: 1) Go back to the beginning and look for a 3rd rule that might cover this situation; 2) If you can't find a 3rd possibility, put down your better answer, even if it is weak; and 3) If you have 2 equally plausible but weak answers, put them both down.



7. Remember our formula for objecting:
a. What do you object to?
b. What rule are you citing (you can use its name or number). Don't waste time copying the entire text of the Federal Rule. The entire text is unlikely to all be relevant.
c. What portion of the text controls this situation?
d. Brief explanation, pointing to relevant places in the record.
e. Motion to strike if jury has already heard the evidence -- every year, half the class forgets this.

8. Basic formula for responding:
a. What portion of the objected-to evidence is admissible?
b. What rule are you relying on (just its name. number) - note that your response may be different from the objection, e.g., objection 404b character, response 609 impeachment by prior conviction.
c. What portion of the text controls this situation?
d. Brief explanation -- 1) That foundation has been laid [point to evidence in transcript]; or 2) Why evidence is relevant; and/or 3) What material issue the evidence tends to prove.

9. The "offer to connect up" and resorting to Rule 807 are the last ditch arguments of a desperate lawyer. Try to find a better argument.

10. Should you put down more than one objection or response? Only if they are both of equal strength.
a. Don't weaken a strong objection with a weak one.
b. Don't be inconsistent, e.g., that evidence is not hearsay and also that it is hearsay but fits an exception.