Paul Bergman

UCLA Law School Professor

Paul Bergman is a Professor of Law Emeritus at the UCLA School of Law and a recipient of two University Distinguished Teaching Awards. His books include Nolo’s Deposition Handbook (with Moore, Nolo); Real to Reel: Truth & Trickery in Courtroom Movies (with Asimow, Vandeplas Publishing); Trial Advocacy: Inferences, Arguments, Techniques (with Moore and Binder, West Publishing Co.); Trial Advocacy in a Nutshell (West Publishing Co.); Represent Yourself in Court: Prepare & Try a Winning Case (with Berman, Nolo); Depositions in a Nutshell (with Moore, Binder, and Light, West Publishing Co.); Lawyers as Counselors: A Client-Centered Approach (with Binder, Tremblay, and Weinstein, West Publishing Co.); Cracking the Case Method (with Goodman and Holm, West Academic Publishing); Evidence Law and Practice (with Friedland and Benham, Carolina Academic Press); and You Matter: Ten Spiritual Commitments for a Richer and More Meaningful Life (with Rabbi Mark Borovitz, AuthorHouse). Paul has also published numerous articles in law journals. And, using clips from law-related films, he regularly gives presentations to lawyers, judges, and community groups.

Articles By Paul Bergman

What Is a Chain of Custody for Evidence?
Chain of custody typically refers to the foundation the prosecution needs to establish for certain types of exhibits to be admitted into evidence.
What to Look for in a Private Criminal Defense Attorney
To help choose the right lawyer for your criminal case, look for someone who knows the local players, has experience defending similar charges, and is a good fit for you.
Can the Defense Interview a Prosecution Witness?
If done properly, trying to interview prosecution witnesses can be an effective investigation technique for the defense.
How Do Prosecutors Decide Which Cases to Charge?
Police officers arrest suspects, but prosecutors decide whether to file formal charges against suspects. Learn how charges are filed and what factors prosecutors may consider in deciding on particular charges.
The Pros and Cons of Plea Bargaining
For most defendants, the principal benefit to plea bargaining is receiving a lighter sentence for a less severe charge than might result from a conviction at trial.
Character Evidence and Character Witnesses
Defendants can offer evidence of their good character—but not without risk.
Felonies, Misdemeanors, and Infractions: Classifying Crimes
In every state, crimes are put into distinct categories. The categories are usually "felony," "misdemeanor," and "infraction."
Aggravating Circumstances in Sentencing
When a judge sentences a defendant after a guilty or “no contest” plea or a jury conviction, a variety of factors come into play.
Expunging or Sealing an Adult Criminal Record
Depending on the crime and your progress in your sentencing, you may be able to seal arrest or conviction records.
Appealing a Conviction
A not guilty verdict on all charges normally ends a criminal case—the prosecution cannot appeal an acquittal. A guilty verdict on some or all charges, however, doesn’t necessarily mean the case is over.