Course Details

Trial Advocacy

The aim of this course is to help students develop skills as trial advocates, including basic techniques of direct examination, cross examination, and argument. The scope of the course includes: • Development of an analytical framework for advocacy problems. • Appreciation of the obligations of the advocate to his/her client. • Recognition of limits of advocacy. • Experimentation with different modes and styles of advocacy. In order to accomplish these goals each student will perform as trial counsel in a variety of simulated courtroom exercises. Every student will engage in direct examination, cross-examination, opening statements and closing arguments. In addition, every student will act as counsel in one trial. This course is taught in the "simulated courtroom" method. For each session, you will be assigned to perform as trial counsel in one or more advocacy problems. For the most part these problems will consist of direct and cross examinations. The witnesses may be played by members of the faculty, but frequently you will be called upon to play the witness (especially in those problems for which you have been assigned a direct examination). At the beginning of each class session court will "convene." From that point onward you are expected to act in the role of trial counsel at all times other than during critique or discussion. Critique At various times during each class session the student performances will be critiqued by the faculty. The purpose of critique is to help you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your own performance, with an eye toward future improvement. Our goal in critique is not to criticize you either as an advocate or a person, but rather to alert you to any mistakes and to make specific and forward-looking suggestions. Lectures and Demonstrations Although it is necessary to practice trial skills in order to learn and assimilate them, the theory and analysis of trial advocacy are often best conveyed through lecture and demonstration. Thus, many class sessions will either begin or conclude with lecture and/or demonstration of specific skills and techniques. The point of the demonstrations is not to give you a model for imitation, but rather to give you a basis for analysis and understanding. In the course of each demonstration you should ask yourselves: (1) why the instructor chose a certain approach to the problem, (2) whether it was effective, (3) whether the approach was consistent with the instructor's theory, and (4) how and why you might have approached the problem differently. Faculty In addition to Prof. Lubet, the faculty for this course will include a group of outstanding trial lawyers from different practice backgrounds. A list of the adjunct faculty, including their addresses and telephone numbers, will be distributed.

Catalog Number: LITARB 809I

Course History

Summer 2022
Title: Trial Advocacy
Faculty: Muchman, Wendy J. (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 2.0
Capacity: 30     Actual: 27