This simulation course is a practicum, taught by a veteran federal court, state court and arbitration tribunal trial lawyer, which will take students from the initial drafting of a complaint and answer in a hypothetical commercial case through trial, jury verdict and post-judgment motions. Students, working together both individually and as teams, will strategize the complaint allegations to be filed and the responses to those allegations; will draft pleadings and papers in pursuance of the claims and defenses; will file dispositive motions; will conduct written discovery and depositions; will participate in a pretrial conference; will file and respond to dispositive motions; will attend a pretrial conference and a settlement conference; and will then prepare for and participate in trial, including presentation of voir dire questions and peremptory challenges, opening and closing statements, direct examination and cross-examination, evidentiary objections and responses thereto and motions for directed verdict and responses thereto at the close of proofs. While the course will have some theoretical discussion about the art of persuasion, the primary emphasis will be on a hands-on approach that is designed to mirror, as much as possible, what a student’s experience will be like in prosecuting or defending a commercial case when he or she is a practicing lawyer.
More and more hiring law firms are expecting law students to be as “trial ready” as possible when they enter private practice and join their firms’ litigation departments. This course aims to provide students with that experience.