BY MIKE NAF
While I can not speak for the experience of this year’s class or those of years past, I am writing to note that during the spring semester last year Prof. Nesson ably taught evidence — really taught evidence — during every class session that I attended. In addition to presenting a (seemingly) comprehensive lesson plan addressing evidence law — which we apprehended vis-à-vis traditional case study and consideration of numerous hypotheticals — Nesson encouraged his students to think critically about the relevance of rhetoric, professional responsibility, legal ethics and courtroom strategy to the study and practice of evidence law. While he may, as your editorial suggests, have gone astray recently, last year Prof. Nesson displayed a remarkable degree of interest in his responsibilities as an educator.
(Incidentally, independent of context, who is to say that Nesson’s alleged reference to his penis size in class was not pedagogically expedient? Indeed, something to the effect of “the list of exceptions to the hearsay rule is long and, indeed, continues to grow, much like my penis” would seem to get the point across rather effectively. Likewise, Nesson’s posting of a faculty email discussion on his course webpage may have been relevant to his educational goals inasmuch as it underscores the implications of technological innovation — here electronic evidence — to privacy interests. Or perhaps it was just an unfortunate indiscretion.)
In any case, while I agree with the RECORD that we ought to celebrate Nesson as an iconoclast, I think that it is unfair to suggest that he is a poor teacher.
Keep bangin’, Mike Naf