University of Wisconsin–Madison

940 Defense Function: Hanging out a Shingle (Criminal Practice) - §008, Fall 2014

Categories: Criminal Law Law Practice Skills

Instructor(s) LaVigne, Michele

L&CP: The Defense Function (Hanging Out a Shingle) - 3 credits.

A substantial portion of state and federal criminal defense work in Wisconsin is handled by private practitioners. In fact, many new lawyers begin their careers (and gain litigation and client experience) by "taking Public Defender cases," either as solo practitioners or as new associates in small firms. This course will introduce students to the substantive and business issues connected with that type of practice. The class will survey trial level criminal procedure and the role of the attorney at each stage of the process. There will be substantial hands-on experience, including motion drafting and negotiations. We will also create templates for discovery and common motions, as well as checklists for case analysis, investigation, and motions. In addition we will look at the business aspects of a solo or small practice. Guest speakers who have started their own firms will provide insight into the successful establishment of a practice that focuses at least in part on criminal law. We will also provide an overview of the other related types of cases that attorneys can expect to handle. These include child protection cases, family law (especially non-support), mental health, and contempt. This class is open to 3Ls only. Evidence is a prerequisite and Trial Advocacy is very helpful. Grades are P/F only. This class satisfies the 60 credit rule.

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