Courses

Robert Pitler

Professor of Law

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-7952 |  Email
Areas of Expertise
Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure
Evidence
Education
B.B.A., City College of the City University of New York
LL.B., Brooklyn Law School
LL.M., S.J.D., University of Michigan Law School

American Historical Crimes and Trials Seminiar: Colonial Times to the Present

Criminal Law

This course consists of an introduction to the criminal process and the role of the Constitution in reconciling the authority of government with the rights of the individual. The primary focus of the course is, however, on the substantive aspects of the criminal law. The role of the criminal law as the principal means of social control is explored, as well as the limitations on legislative power to define and punish criminal behavior. Cases and statutes are studied to develop a critical understanding of the fundamental concepts of criminal responsibility. The course includes the study of some specific crimes such as homicide and conspiracy, as well as the general principles of jurisdiction, accessorial liability, justification and the impact of mental disease, intoxication and mistake on criminal responsibility.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade only. Final exam.

Criminal Law, Procedure, Evidence and Film Lore Workshop

Prerequisites: Criminal Procedure I and Evidence; Instructor's permission required.
With prominent guests, a couple to a few movies, an interactive computer evidence program and presentations by each student, the seminar/workshop will address, among other things current criminal law related matters of interest and importance.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Each student will be required to teach a one hour class on a subject chosen in consultation with the professor, to write at least two essays, and to participate in an interactive computer trial to test his or her knowledge of evidence. The seminar is not designed to produce a paper that satisfies the Upperclass Writing Requirement. It is designed, however, for graduating students who wish to learn and think about the law and enjoy the process at the same time.

Criminal Procedure I

Prerequisites: Criminal Law and Constitutional Law

This course explores the investigative phase of a criminal proceeding focusing on the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights of criminal suspects. Topics covered include arrest, search and seizure, electronic surveillance, interrogations and confessions, line-ups and other pre-trial identification procedures, right to counsel, doctrines governing application of constitutionally based exclusionary rules (standing, retroactivity, harmless error and the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine) and motions to suppress evidence.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Final exam.

Evidence

This course presents a comprehensive overview of evidence law, including relevancy, documentary evidence, hearsay, competency of witnesses, examination and impeachment of witnesses, privilege, presumptions and burdens of proof. Class discussion will be based on the Federal Rules of Evidence, cases, problems and films.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Final exam.