Criminal Trial Advocacy (LAW-694-003)
Zuberi Williams, Cristina Hillyer
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In Criminal Trial Advocacy student-attorneys participate directly in three criminal trials using fictitious case files. Student-attorneys prepare and litigate two criminal cases over about 12 class periods and prepare and litigate a final criminal case before a jury panel of AU undergraduate students in a full-day trial on Saturday, November 19, 2022.
During the semester the focus of performance will be on opening statements, direct and cross examination of witnesses, both lay and expert, closing arguments, developing a theory of the case, and a trial strategy and tactics from the scenarios provided. Other aspects of trial advocacy, including voir dire and pretrial motions, will be discussed as part of the progress of each trial, but motions in limine and motions for a judgment of acquittal will only be litigated in the final trial.
In all sessions, student-attorneys are divided into prosecution and defense teams. Students will be assigned tasks as counsel in class trial sessions and when not performing counsel tasks will function as witnesses and jurors. Throughout the semester students will be called on to perform courtroom skills drills, including introducing exhibits, refreshing recollection, and impeachment with a prior inconsistent statement. The Judge will preside over in-class trials and the concluding full-day trial. Cases will be deemed to take place in the D.C. Superior Court, Washington, D.C. and will be tried under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence. Evidence and Criminal Procedure must be taken as pre or co-requisite courses.
Textbooks and Other Materials
The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.
REQUIRED COURSE MATERIALS:
- National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) Casefiles:
- Text: Trial Techniques and Trials, Thomas A. Mauet and Stephen D. Easton (11th Ed., 2021)
- Additional assigned reading materials are located on the class MyWCL and the Trial Advocacy Central Site. Courtroom skills handouts will be handed out by the instructors, and other relevant readings may also be provided by the instructors.
- Federal Rules of Evidence: Copies are on MyWCL Trial Advocacy Central Site
State v. Diamond/State v. Doyle, James Seckinger (6th Ed., 2015)
State v. Peyton, Elizabeth Boals (3rd Ed., 2022)
State v. Sanchez, Elizabeth Boals (2nd Ed., 2015)
First Class Readings
Read for class:
State v. Diamond
Trial Techniques and Trials, Chapter 1, Trial Process, §§1.1-1.18 (pp.1-11)
Chapter 2, Psychology of Persuasion, §§2.1-2.4 (pp. 13-27)
Chapter 4, Opening Statements, §§4.1-4.8 (pp. 73-106)
For reference: MyWCL - “How to Organize a Case File”
Use your MyAU username and password to access the syllabus in the following format(s):