Instructor(s) Connors, James
This class will meet every
The purpose of the class is
to introduce you to the structural aspects of a trial as well as to give you
the opportunity to learn and practice various skills which are necessary during
the course of a trial. The emphasis in the course will be on criminal law.
During the first class, I
will give an overview of how a trial works. As I am sure many of you are aware,
a large portion of a trial depends upon verbal communication. Therefore, each
of you will be expected to give a five minute oral presentation on any subject
you wish. It can be humorous, serious, based on personal experience or complete
fiction, but the presentation must be made.
There will be weekly
assignments. Specific problems will be assigned from the textbook Problems
in Trial Advocacy, 2007 Edition, NITA.
The first several weeks of
the course will deal with direct and cross examination. There will be a
plaintiff’s team and a defense team. Each team will consist of two attorneys
and a witness. The plaintiff's team will prepare a direct-examination of its
witness and a cross-examination of the defense witness. The defendant's team
members will prepare a cross-examination of the plaintiff's witness and a
direct examination of their witness. All team members will be students and
will use the assigned problems set forth in the trial advocacy textbook. In
preparing the assignment, you should be prepared to deal with evidentiary
problems that may exist in the assignments.
The next section of the
course will deal with presenting exhibits during the course of a trial. The
exhibits will be taken from problems assigned from the NITA book. Two students
will work on each problem. One will be the attorney and the other will be a
Then, we will work on
opening and closing statements. These statements will be based on a criminal
case which will be chosen from the NITA case files. Each student will present
opening statements and closing arguments.
semester will then conclude with the presentation of a trial. Each trial group
consists of four students, two prosecuting the case and two defending the case.
There will also be witnesses and jurors and it will be the obligation of the
students to provide these witnesses and jurors. I will provide the judge for
the trial. All team members will be students.
look forward to working with you all in the upcoming semester.