This course is designed to impart a fundamental knowledge and experience of how to try a case, and the basic litigation skills necessary to do so. There will be emphasis on ethics, professionalism, strategy, sophistication, and success at trial in a manner that will allow you to protect your verdict on appeal.
Examples and exercises will pertain to litigation in U.S. District Courts. More often than not these will come from criminal cases as these lend themselves to more manageable examinations. However the skills learned will be entirely transferable to civil trials.
The class is taught in an “immersion” style, similar to a language class. Beginning with the second class we dive right in to mock trial work. This course blends rigorous mock trial experiences with class discussion of trial techniques, strategy, and ethics. Students will directly participate in a series of trial practice problems as witnesses and attorneys. We will focus on different problems throughout the semester, including jury selection, 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.