Counter-intuitively, one of the best ways to learn the practice-oriented topic of evidence may be by studying a work of fiction-specifically, Arthur Miller's The Crucible, which dramatizes the seventeenth-century Salem witch trials. The play puts the reader in the position of legal advocate, and invites strategic analysis of evidentiary issues. A close analysis of the dialogue presents an opportunity to explore both the doctrinal nuances of and policy considerations underlying the most important topics covered by the Federal Rules of Evidence, including the mode and order of interrogation, relevance, character evidence and impeachment, opinion testimony, and hearsay.
Martin H. Pritikin,
Can Law and Literature Be Practical? The Crucible and the Federal Rules of Evidence,
W. Va. L. Rev.
Available at: https://researchrepository.wvu.edu/wvlr/vol115/iss2/7