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How To Try A Case: University of Iowa College Of Law Trial Advocacy Intercession, Day 1

I'm Blogging This Class

This post chronicles my teaching as an Adjunct Professor a one-week, eight-hour-a-day intercession class in Trial Advocacy at the University of Iowa College of Law in Iowa City, Iowa.  Where?  Reminds me of a t-shirt I saw here when I went to school some 20 years ago:  "University of Iowa, Idaho City, Ohio."   You know, the place with the early primary caucuses.

Now that we have that straight, let's get on with the class.  We are using Mauet's Trial Techniques as our main textbook, two NITA casebooks, State v. Jackson and Dixon v. Providential Life, along with NITA's Problems in Trial Advocacy.  The Syllabus sets out readings in all the books for today, so starting the class at one o'clock this afternoon, we discussed an overview of trial, from voir dire, opening statements, direct and cross-examinations, exhibits and demonstrative evidence, impeachment and rehabilitation, expert witness testimony to closing arguments. 

We discussed burdens of proof for various types of trials and went over the entire scope of litigating a case from intake through appeal.  As we wrapped up the day at five, we developed four case themes:  for the prosecutors and defense attorneys  in Jackson and for the plaintiff and defendant attorneys in Dixon, finding the "pictures" and "threads" of the cases to show to and talk with the jury.

The class has sixteen third years, along with a Teaching Assistant.  Early tomorrow morning, we're visiting the Johnson County Courthouse to watch two lawyers pick a jury, then it's back to the classroom for opening statements. 

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, January 06, 2008


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