Fall 2022 Course Schedule

Civil Trial Advocacy (Note new meeting day) (LAW-695-002)
Erik Christian, Emile Thompson

Meets: 06:00 PM - 08:50 PM (W)

Enrolled: 5 / Limit: 14

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In Civil Trial Advocacy, student-attorneys participate directly in three civil trials using fictitious case files. Student-attorneys prepare and litigate two civil cases over several class periods and a final civil 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 judgement of acquittal will only be litigated in the final trial.

In all sessions, student-attorneys are divided into plaintiff 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 Judges will preside over in-class trials and the concluding full-day trial. Cases will be deemed to take place in the DC Superior Court, Washington, D.C. and will be tried under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence. Students must have taken Civil Procedure as a pre-requisite and Evidence as a prerequisite or co-requisite course to enroll in Civil Trial Advocacy.

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.


  1. National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) Casefiles: Potter v. Shrackle and the Shrackle Construction Co., Kenneth Broun and Frank Rothschild (7th Ed., 2019)
  2. Evans v. NITA State University, Elizabeth Lippy (2nd Ed., 2019)

    Flinders Aluminum Fabrication Corporation v. Mismo Fire Insurance Company, Rebecca Sitterly, Laurence Rose and Frank Rothschild (10th Ed., 2017)

  3. Text: Trial Techniques and Trials, Thomas A. Mauet and Stephen D. Easton (11th Ed., 2021) (Wolters Kluwer Law)
  4. Additional assigned reading materials will be located on the class MyWCL and the Trial Advocacy Central Site. Courtroom skills handouts will be handed out by instructors, and other relevant readings may also be provided by the instructors.
  5. Federal Rules of Evidence: Copies are provided on MyWCL Trial Advocacy Central Site.

First Class Readings

Read for class:

Potter v. Shrackle and the Shrackle Construction Co. - Civil No. 1-22

Trial Techniques and Trials, Chapter 1, The Trial Process, §§1.1-1.18 (pp. 1-11)

Chapter 2, The 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):