Motley Speaker Series | Race Is Evidence: Exploring Discrimination in the Rules of Evidence

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

5:30 PM to 7:30 PM (Eastern Daylight Time)


This segment of the Constance Baker Motley Series on RacialCBA-CBF-web Inequality is presented by the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) and its Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee, in collaboration and co-sponsorship with the Connecticut Bar Foundation (CBF) and James W. Cooper Fellows.

About the ProgramEthics logo square_web

The Rules of Evidence are used on a daily basis in the legal system, but little thought is given to how those rules reflect the cultural norms, sensibilities, and racial biases operating at an institutional and societal level at the time they were written. Practitioners and laypeople alike may believe that the Rules of Evidence are unbiased and equitable, but we find racially coded language throughout, and the application of these rules cannot escape the system in which they are employed. Often times, race and racism themselves are used as de facto evidence and sources of proof. This program will explore the development of the Rules of Evidence, examining what was going on at the time the rules were developed, the many examples of how parties do not experience equitable evidentiary burdens, and the negative effect that racially-biased use of the Rules of Evidence can have on the economic empowerment of people of color. From lack of evidentiary scrutiny to the introduction of antiracist expert evidence, we can see how race is used as a proxy for credibility and character, further enflaming racial stereotypes and negatively influencing jurisprudential decision making.

You Will Learn

• How implicit racial bias influences evidentiary or other decision making processes
• How parties can experience equitable evidentiary burdens
• About the chilling effect of a racially-based application of the evidentiary rules on artists and other people of color
• Strategies to use to raise awareness of the importance of the evidentiary rules

Who Should Attend

Attorneys interested in race as evidence and discrimination in the rules of evidence.




Capers headshot1 Bennett Capers
Fordham University School of Law, New York, NY

Carodine-Montré D.1 Montré D. Carodine
University of Alabama School of Law, Tuscaloosa, AL

Gonzales-Rose_Jasmine1 Jasmine Gonzales Rose
Boston University School of Law, Boston, MA

CLE Credit

CT: 2.0 CLE Credits (Ethics)

If the seminar is recorded, all registrants will receive complimentary access to the recording approximately six weeks after the program.

Closed captioning will be available during the seminar presentation for virtual attendees.



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