Can Law and Literature Be Practical? The Crucible and the Federal Rules of Evidence

47 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2012  

Martin H. Pritikin

Whittier Law School

Date Written: July 16, 2012

Abstract

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 17th 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 relevance, character evidence and impeachment, opinion testimony, hearsay, and the mode and order of interrogation.

Keywords: Arthur Miller, Crucible, evidence, law and literature

Suggested Citation

Pritikin, Martin H., Can Law and Literature Be Practical? The Crucible and the Federal Rules of Evidence (July 16, 2012). West Virginia Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2110294

Martin H. Pritikin (Contact Author)

Whittier Law School ( email )

3333 Harbor Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
United States

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