Evidence-At-Large

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Logistics

Evidence 2007 is open to the public for at-large participation. All at-large participation will take place on Berkman Island in Second Life and on this wiki.

During the first two weeks of the class we will be posting a video lecture series on this site and in Second Life. These lectures, given by Professor Nesson, will cover topics in trial advocacy and evidence. We will also have discussion meetings in Second Life at which we will discuss the content of the lecture videos. The discussion meetings will take place Monday, January 8th at 8:00pm EST (5:00pm SLT) and Monday, January 15th at 8:00pm EST. The discussion meetings will take place in the outdoor amphitheater on Berkman Island in Second Life.

In the final week of the class we will doing a first-of-its-kind Second Life event. We will be holding a moot trial of Bragg v. Linden Labs in our new courtroom on Berkman Island. Bragg v. Linden Labs is a real case currently making its way through the United States federal court system. Bragg is a former Second Life resident whose SL account was terminated and SL property was seized by Linden Labs after they determined that he had exploited the property purchasing system. He is suing for the value of his SL property that he bought through legitimate means in Second Life. We will try the case twice in our courtroom, once under the Second Life Terms of Service Agreement and once at common law. Professor Nesson will serve as the judge in both trials. Teams of Harvard Law students enrolled in Evidence will serve as the lawyers. We are seeking volunteers from within the Second Life community to serve as jurors or to role play the parts of witnesses. We also welcome all at-large participants to participate in the trial by sitting in the public gallery from which we can see all the action in the courtroom but also have our own discussion of the proceedings without disrupting them.

The teaching fellow for the at-large participants is Rebecca Nesson (Rebecca Berkman in Second Life). She will be leading the discussion sections during the first two weeks of class, organizing at-large participants who would like to take an active role in one or both of the trials, and leading discussion in the public gallery during the trials. If you would like to participate, feel free to email Rebecca at rebeccanesson@gmail.com or IM Rebecca Berkman in Second Life or just show up for one of the events!

At-large participants are encouraged to participate and keep in contact with the other at-large members through the SL group: CyberEvidence @Large. The group has open access, so fee free to join.

Theory

At-Large participation is a new idea/process for free and open access to education that we are experimenting with in our classes at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. The idea is very simple: we open up our classes to anyone in the world who wants to participate at no cost to the participants. We do our best to offer a truly engaging at-large experience for our at-large participants including access to class materials, opportunities for group meeting and discussions with a teaching fellow in Second Life, and other opportunities for participation that suit the subject matter of the class. We do not offer credit for at-large participation. We invite you to participate.

At a more philosophical level, it is our hypothesis that:

  • we have something to offer in our classes at Harvard Law School that can be and is of interest to the public,
  • those who are interested in participating in our classes (a little or a lot, as their time allows) have something to offer our enrolled students,
  • if the at-large participant experience is well-designed, both groups can benefit greatly.

What do we have to offer to at-large participants? We are offering the legal teaching expertise of Harvard Law professors and the opportunity for direct interaction with the professors, teaching fellows and enrolled Harvard Law students. It is clear that this experience is not generally available because of the time requirements, financial requirements, and the admissions filter. We hope that when we remove these somewhat artificial boundaries, you will find that the content of our classes is of inherent value and interest to you because of our teaching and the subject matter.

What do at-large participants have to offer the law students? Well, at the outset it is necessary to make a first case that the at-large participants are not detrimental. That is, we are giving away something that used to be restricted. We believe that giving access to our classes to the public at-large does not detract from the value of the class to enrolled students or the value of the degree that the enrolled students receive. We preserve the first by design--that is, we choose to have interaction between the enrolled students and the at-large participants only when it is a benefit to the enrolled students. We preserve the second through the traditional means of offering credit and evaluation to enrolled students that allows an enrolled student to get a meaningful grade on a transcript that can be helpful in job applications or other ventures. This type of evaluation is not offered as part of the at-large experience. But beyond just "doing no harm", we believe at-large participation can be a great benefit to the enrolled students. At-large participants can participate in activities with the enrolled students, such as a moot court, in which the at-large participants can act as jurors and witnesses. They offer a participatory audience for substantive discussions of student projects and ideas related to the course topic. And, on a larger scale, they have the potential to raise the value of university degrees in general by raising the public impression of the value of the content and the difficulty of the degree.

At-Large Administration

At-Large participation for Evidence 2007 is being organized and taught by Rebecca Nesson in conjunction with Professor Nesson. You can contact Rebecca at any time with questions or ideas about the at-large experience. In Second Life you can contact her by IM to her avatar Rebecca Berkman or by visiting Berkman Island at one of the scheduled discussion or office hour times. Outside of Second Life you can contact her by email to rebeccanesson@gmail.com.

Jurors and Witnesses -- Sign Up Here

If you would like to sign up to be a juror or play another role in the mock trial, please add your avatar's name to the list below. We'll be collecting Second Life avatar names rather than real life identities for the jury. By signing up here you'll make it easier for us to contact you about scheduling and other pre-trial preparations!

  • Chinadoll Lulu (will make it to all nights, all hours)
  • Teresa Cinquetti (will make it to all nights, all hours)
  • Cordelia Moy
  • Dancer Morris
  • Tetero Lesse
  • Daisyblue Hefferman
  • GeoffMcG Xi (probably not a juror, since I can't make Tuesday's meeting)
  • Sariah Chihuly
  • Andy Abrahamson (on west coast, so start time may be a problem. witness/Phil Linden?)
  • Yuu Nakamichi
  • Alan Lederberg
  • MyNameIs Burton
  • Danny Lowe (16,and 18 are ok)
  • Vitango Spinotti (will make it to all nights, all hours)
  • Nate Grigges

Calendar

  • January 3 - January 15: Course Lectures
    • Every few days we will post a lecture video. These lectures, given by Professor Nesson., will be on the subject of trial advocacy and will be interesting and educational both for lawyers, law students, and anyone who is interested in trial process. The lectures will be available from this page as well as on Berkman Island in Second Life on the big screens on the north side of the island.
  • Monday, January 8, 8:00pm EST (5:00pm SLT): Discussion Section 1
    • Rebecca will lead a discussion about the topics covered in the lectures. This discussion is open to all at-large participants (dropping in is fine) as well as to all enrolled law students. The transcript of the discussion is available at: January 8, 2007 discussion.
  • Monday, January 15, 8:00pm EST (5:00pm SLT): Discussion Section 2
    • Rebecca will lead a discussion about the topics covered in the second half of the lectures. This discussion is open to all at-large participants (dropping in is fine) as well as to all enrolled law students.
  • January 16 - 19: Bragg v. Linden Labs in the Berkman Island Courtroom
    •  !!!! First time ever in Second Life and Harvard Law School -- A Virtual Moot Court of a Real/Virtual Law Suit!
    • We will try the case of Bragg v. Linden Labs in our new courtroom on Berkman Island
    • Professor Charles Nesson will serve as the judge
    • Teams of Harvard Law students enrolled in Evidence will serve as the lawyers
    • At-large participants will serve as jurors and witnesses
    • At-large participants are also invited to join Rebecca Berkman in the public gallery to view the proceedings and discuss them.
    • We will try the case twice, once under the Second Life Terms of Service and once under common law
    • Those at-large participants who volunteer to participate as jurors and witnesses will get the opportunity to work closely and directly with Professor Nesson and his students at Harvard Law School. It is a unique, free and exciting opportunity. It will require a commitment of several hours in some evenings between Jan 16-19. Please contact Rebecca if you are interested in participating in this way.

The Second Life Trial as OpenCourseWare