Class limit: 12 students
A basic Trial Practice course will teach law students, in broad strokes, how to conduct a simple trial, from opening statements to summations. Through a combination of lectures and simulations, students learn fundamental trial concepts and techniques. However, given the time limitations of such a course, students will not learn many other skills necessary for trial attorneys. Advanced Trial Practice will address litigation techniques in much more depth, permitting students to hone skills learned in basic Trial Practice courses, as well as to learn new ones. Topics will include pre-trial preparation techniques and pre-trial motions; witness interviewing and witness preparation skills; advanced voir dire techniques; use of litigation technology; identifying and making objections; examining expert witnesses; and ethical issues facing trial attorneys.
The course will include readings, lectures, demonstrations and in-class student simulations. The readings include excerpts from textbooks and law review articles. Lectures and demonstrations will be given both by the professor and by guest lecturers. Guest lecturers will include, for example, an expert in forensic sciences from the New York City Medical Examiner's Office; an expert in technology in the courtroom; and an expert in arson investigation. During the simulations, the students will use a National Institute of Trial Advocacy trial problem involving an alleged arson: State v. Jackson.
Students will be required to participate in a final mock trial.