This course blends rigorous mock trial experiences with class discussion of trial techniques, strategy, and ethics. Students directly participate in a series of trial practice problems as witnesses and attorneys. Some sections use videotape as an aid to the learning process. Different instructors in this course emphasize different problems, including jury selection, motions and discovery practices, opening statements, direct and cross examination, handling exhibits, expert testimony, making and opposing objections, and closing arguments. The course is designed especially for students who wish to obtain some trial experience but lack the time to enroll in a regular litigation clinic. Note: Some sections of this course may require extended classes or extra meetings outside of class to accommodate a mock trial.
Learning Objectives for Professors Duross, Koukios, and Tsao:
During the course, you will learn to develop a persuasive case theory, structure and deliver opening statements and closing arguments, and conduct effective direct and cross-examinations. You will also learn how to lay proper foundations to admit exhibits and other evidence at trial and to object to your opponent’s exhibits, evidence, and arguments. By the end of the course, you should have developed a sense of your personal courtroom style, an understanding of courtroom mechanics, and an appreciation of what it means to be a trial lawyer. Our goal is for you to have developed useful, basic advocacy skills to begin your legal careers.
Learning Objectives for Professors Williams, Glick, and Jones:
Students will develop an understanding of the trial process, from its foundational principles and processes through the mechanics of jury selection, opening statements, witness examinations, and closing arguments.