University of Pittsburgh

Criminal Defense Practicum

Winning on Paper – Writing for the Defense
Winning on Paper – Writing for the Defense
Term: Fall Term 2013-14 (2141)
Catalog Number: 5939
Class Number: 21129
Room: LAW G18.
Class Schedule:
  • M 4:30 PM -6:20 PM
  • Instructor: Carrie Allman
    Type: Practicum
    Credits: 3.0 Credits (2.0 classroom contact, 1.0 field)
    Catalog Requirements: "W" Writing, Professional Skills.
    Enrollment Limit: 15.
    Priority: Limited Enrollment - 3rd Year Priority

    Course Description from Course Catalog 5939

    Grading

    The course will address Pre-Trial motions including Motions to Suppress, Rule 600 Motions, Motions in Limine, and how to respond to motions filed by the Commonwealth. Students will be expected to prepare one Pre-trial Motion and to file a Responsive Pleading to an adverse Motion. Additionally, students will participate in a mock hearing at which time they will argue their Motion. Following this we will discuss and practice writings following conviction including post sentence motions, concise statements, Appellate Briefs, and Petitions for Allowance of Appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Students will be expected to read transcripts, review the record of a case, prepare a Concise Statement, and file an advocate’s Brief on behalf of their “client”. Students will also participate in a mock Oral Argument. Finally, we will discuss Petitions for Allowance of Appeal and how to prepare them in a manner that gets the attention of the Supreme Court.

    Grades will be based on class participation including discussions on the best way to approach and handle the needs of the specific clients assigned, the written assignments, and the class simulation exercises. Students will also be expected to attend one oral argument session in the Superior Court and visit the Office of the Public Defender to review the record in the assigned appellate case.

    Grades will be based on the following percentage breakdown:

    • Class participation in discussions, issue analysis, and feedback – 10%
    • Pre-Trial Motions – 20%
    • Pre-Trial Mock Argument – 10%
    • Post Sentence Motion – 10%
    • Brief – 30%
    • Mock Oral Argument – 10%
    • Petition for Allowance of Appeal – 10%
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