Excited Utterance Podcast Series on Evidence Law

As a graduate student, I was impressed by the extent to which scholars traveled to other schools to present draft papers and obtain feedback from other faculties and graduate students.  As a student, these presentations were interesting opportunities to engage with leading scholars and learn from their new ideas, as well as their mistakes.  Law school faculties back in the 1970s seemed like a much less collegial community of scholars, who rarely shared their ideas before publication, and thus did not receive the benefit of feedback from other scholars.

The isolation of legal scholarship has been mitigated in good law schools with the introduction of invited lectures and presentations, often at weekly seminars or luncheons.  These meetings can be exciting and inspiring, but obviously participation is limited, and the financial and travel time restraints can be burdensome.

Edward Cheng, who teaches evidence and related subjects at Vanderbilt Law School, has introduced an interesting idea: scholarly podcasts on legal topics in his field of interest. Professor Cheng’s stated hope is that he can produce and provide podcasts, on scholarly topics in the law of evidence, which replicate the faculty seminar for a broader audience.

To be sure, there have been podcasts about specific legal cases, such as the famously successful “Undisclosed” podcast on the Adnan Syed case, which can honestly share in the credit in helping expose corruption and dishonesty in the prosecution of Mr. Syed, and in helping Mr. Syed obtain a new trial. Professor Cheng’s planned podcast series, “Excited Utterance: The Evidence and Proof Podcast,” will be on evidentiary topics more of interest to legal scholars, students, and practitioners. His stated goal is to focus on legal scholarship on evidence law and “to provide a weekly virtual workshop in the world of evidence throughout the academic year” to a broader audience, more efficiently than the sporadic visiting lectures that any one school can sponsor on evidentiary topics.

The project seems worth the effort in theory, and we will see what it produces in practice. The fall 2016 schedule for Cheng’s Excited Utterance podcasts is set out below; and the first one, by Daniel Chapra, is already available at iTunes, and at the Excited Utterance website.

Daniel Capra, “Electronically Stored Information and the Ancient Documents Exception” (Aug. 22, 2016)

Michael Pardo, “Group Agency and Legal Proof, or Why the Jury Is An It” (Aug. 29, 2016)

Mary Fan, “Justice Visualized” (Sept. 5, 2016)

Sachin Pandya, “The Constitutional Accuracy of Legal Presumptions” (Sept. 12, 2016)

Christopher Slobogin, “Gatekeeping Science” (Sept. 19, 2016)

Mark Spottswood, “Unraveling the Conjunction Paradox” (Sept. 26, 2016)

Deryn Strange, “Memory Errors in Alibi Generation” (Oct. 3, 2016)

Sandra Guerra Thompson, “Cops in Lab Coats” (Oct. 10, 2016)

Maggie Wittlin, “Hindsight Evidence” (Oct. 17, 2016)

Stephanos Bibas, “Designing Plea Bargaining from the Ground Up” (Oct. 24, 2016)

Erin Murphy, “Inside the Cell: The Dark Side of Forensic DNA” (Oct. 31, 2016)

Pamela R. Metzger, “Confrontation as a Rule of Production” (Nov. 7, 2016)

Nancy S. Marder, “Juries and Lay Participation: American Perspectives and Global Trends” (Nov. 14, 2016)

Jay Koehler, “Testing for Accuracy in the Forensic Sciences” (Nov. 21, 2016)

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