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.
This practice-oriented course affords students an opportunity to participate directly in three civil trials. Students will prepare, discuss, and try issues pertaining to motions in limine, jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross-examination of lay and expert witnesses, demonstrative evidence, and closing arguments. Emphasis is placed on effective jury argument, use of exhibits, courtroom tactics and demeanor, and understanding the role of the trial judge. Students not assigned as counsel in trial sessions serve as witnesses and jurors. Proceedings are deemed to occur in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and will be conducted pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence.