Trial Advocacy

Seattle University School of Law has an excellent trial advocacy program, offering comprehensive courses with faculty who literally wrote the book on the subject. For more information, contact Professor Marilyn Berger.

Courses

Comprehensive Pretrial Advocacy

(4 credits) ADVC-300

Using a mock case as a context, students develop patterns of thought and hands-on ability in interviewing, counseling, negotiation, oral advocacy, and drafting of pleadings, discovery and motions. Problem solving, decision making, and the professional role of the lawyer are emphasized. Alternatives to trial, such as mediation, are discussed. The small size of the class (24 students) allows a high level of student participation in discussion and role-play.

Comprehensive Trial Advocacy

(4 credits) ADVC-305

Comprehensive Trial Advocacy is an advanced course taught in the context of a mock civil or criminal case. Students use their pretrial skills to integrate theory with trial practice. Students, by role playing and performing in class, learn trial skills: voir dire, opening statement, trial motions, direct and cross examination, closing argument, trial notebook, trial brief and jury instructions. Organized in law firms, students prepare and participate in a one-day simulated jury trial. Prerequisite: Comprehensive Pretrial Advocacy.

Professors Marilyn Berger, John Mitchell and Distinguished Practitioner in Residence Ron Clark are the authors of "Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy," the completely revised and updated version of their original casebook that reflect today’s criminal and civil trial practice.

It presents premier trial principles and strategies as well as state-of-the-art trial technology for every phase from trial preparation through closing argument. Planning techniques for developing and using case theories and themes are explained in-depth. An accompanying DVD shows model trial performances by experienced trial lawyers, a movie of the crime scene and trial animations.

"Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy, Second Edition" includes:

  • a DVD with a model trial based on a real case and, introduced by leading true crime author Ann Rule; a movie of the crime scene and trial animations
  • website for faculty and students links to software
  • Trial persuasion principles applicable to all stages of trial
  • Trial preparation, planning and strategies
  • state-of-the art technology for developing and using visuals
  • up-to-date ethical boundaries for trial lawyers based on the ABA Model Rules
  • Cross-examination: methodology for constructing persuasive examination
  • Trial motions: drafting and arguing, includes a model motion
  • Jury selection: strategies for developing rapport and analyzing prospective jurors
  • Jury instructions: models for writing and using jury instructions
  • case theory and theme development
  • Illustrations: homicide, white collar crime, products liability, and personal injury
  • Courtroom positioning for the trial lawyer with illustrations and photographs.

Faculty