EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Monday, January 28, 2008

Evidence and Ethics 1: Opening Thoughts on the Fordham Symposium

I recently had the privilege of reading the 15 wonderful articles in the Fordham Law Review's Evidence and Ethics Symposium Issue.  After reading the articles, I contacted Professor Daniel J. Capra, who brought together the impressive pool of authors who wrote pieces for the symposium, and he wrote me the following:

"My colleague Bruce Green runs the Stein program on law and ethics, and that program puts on a yearly symposium that is published in the Fordham Law Review. Bruce asked me to contact some of the people I know in the Evidence field to see if they wanted to contribute to a symposium on Ethics and Evidence. I had a list of 15 people whose scholarship I find interesting and challenging, and I contacted each of them. What you see is the product of that search process.

This was not a symposium where people met to present papers and exchange ideas. People picked a topic, I reviewed the topics and approved them, and the authors and law review students did the rest. I am very happy with the outcome."

As Professor Capra notes in his introduction to the symposium, each of the authors addresses important questions about the interrelationship between ethics rules and ethics rules, such as:

     (1) Do ethics rules impose any limitations on the use (and arguable abuse) of evidence rules?

     (2) Do evidence rule enforce ethical principals of lawyering, and if not, why not?

     (3) What specific areas of evidentiary practice are most in need of an infusion of ethical principles?

In subsequent posts throughout the next few weeks, I will post summaries and thoughts on these articles as well as some comments by the authors in response to questions I posed to them.  I think that the Symposium is a wonderful collection of articles on the ethics of evidence law, which are essential reading for professors, practitioners, judges, and law students.



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