This is a performance and presentation-based course that serves as the intensive training component for the law school’s Mock Trial Team. The course covers the mechanics of trials with a focus on preparation for interscholastic trial advocacy competitions. Enrollment is by permission from the professor only. Students can qualify based on a tryout. In addition, the previous year’s top two finishers in the law school’s internal trial competition will qualify automatically for the course, presuming they have not graduated. This program is a two year commitment. If you are accepted as a member of the Mock Trial Team, you will automatically be eligible to participate in the course for the following year upon successful completion of the course in the first year.
Topics in the course include development of case theory, effective advocacy skills, appropriate professional conduct, and trial preparation. Students will present direct and cross examinations of lay and expert witnesses, opening statements, and closing arguments, and will introduce evidentiary exhibits with appropriate foundation. A significant portion of the course will be devoted to a review of both the Federal and Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence, with special emphasis on trial evidence.
Returning Third Year students will focus on preparation for both Fall and Spring competitions. In that respect they will learn advanced trial techniques as applicable to the competitions. This will include working with actual experts, one on one video analysis of performance and specific, case related issues.