Trial Advocacy Workshop
This lawyering skills course gives students an orientation to and constant practice in most basic pretrial and trial advocacy skills areas. Topics include: taking and defending depositions, motion practice, trial evidence, including admission of trial exhibits in evidence and use of prior witness statements to refresh and impeach a witness, jury selection and voir dire, opening statements, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, and closing arguments. Students will try a full jury case through to verdict with use of jurors and usually before a real judge in the courthouse in Palo Alto at the end of the course. Students will also have a chance to watch the jurors deliberate and talk with them after their verdict. The course takes place during seven weeks of the Autumn Quarter with two classes (one lecture and one workshop) per week on most weeks from 4:15-9:00 (these usually occur on T, W, or Th, plus an occasional M), plus two Saturday workshops and the final weekend of jury trials, Saturday and Sunday November 14 and 15. Each day's ending time will vary; most sessions will end before 9:00. For a detailed schedule, contact Stephanie Basso at firstname.lastname@example.org. The format for each topic begins with a lecture/discussion featuring video vignettes of various techniques and a live demonstration by an expert trial lawyer. Following the discussion portion of each topic are small group sessions during which each student practices the skills involved. Constructive feedback is given after each exercise by two of our faculty of very experienced Bay Area litigators and judges. Most exercises are also videoed for further one-on-one critique by another faculty member. The central philosophy of the workshop is that skills are best acquired in an experiential manner by seeing and doing. Frequent short, well-defined exercises followed by immediate constructive feedback in a non-competitive, non-threatening atmosphere provide the core of the program. The workshop directors are Tim Hallahan, Judge Sallie Kim and Jeff Kobrick. Tim has taught similar programs at Harvard Law School, the University of San Francisco School of Law, Boalt Hall, the California Continuing Education of the Bar, and in private and public interest law firms around the country. Sallie is a United States Magistrate Judge in San Francisco and was a partner in a civil litigation firm and also previously taught a class at SLS and served as Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Jeff is a partner in a civil litigation firm and has taught litigation skills courses at Harvard and Stanford Law Schools for a number of years. Special Instructions: If you haven't taken Evidence you must contact Tim Hallahan before the course begins for some brief pre-course reading assignments. There are no papers or tests, but attendance at every session is required. Since we will begin our trial advocacy exercises on the first day of class, all students who are interested in taking the course (whether enrolled or on the wait-list) need to be present for the first class. (Students who are not present will be dropped from the class or waiting list unless they have made previous arrangements with the professor.) Add-drop decisions need to be resolved at the first class; no drops will be permitted thereafter. Exceptions to this rule will be made by petition only. Mandatory attendance. Elements used in grading: Attendance and in-class assignments.
Instructors for this course (Past and Present)Tim Hallahan
Jeffrey Witten Kobrick
Stephanie A. Basso