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

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.
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.
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.
Your Right to Represent Yourself in a Criminal Case
You must be legally competent before a judge will allow you to represent yourself in a criminal trial. The bigger question, though, may be: "Should you?"
Assault, Battery, and Aggravated Assault
States vary in their definitions and punishments for the crimes of assault, assault and battery, and aggravated assault.
When Does It Make Sense to Waive the Preliminary Hearing?
When does it make sense to waive the preliminary hearing?
Can I Claim Self-Defense If I Hit Someone First?
Even as the first person to use force, it’s possible to act in self-defense.
What Do Judges Actually Do?
The judge, the man or woman seated at the bench wearing a black gown (called a robe), typically does some or all of the following: