This course explores a more diverse and deepened analysis of trial advocacy tied to the subject matter of the conflict and potential resolutions for that conflict. To that end, the class is held in the Washtenaw County courthouse. Students will learn basic tenants of all trial advocacy. These tenants include mechanics of pre- trial practice (motion practice including the differences between written and oral advocacy) as well as simulated trial tasks. Those trial tasks focus on the chronological development of a trial: jury selection; opening statement; direct and cross examination; exhibits; objections; impeachment and rehabilitation; experts and closing arguments.
In addition, students will perform exercises that reflect different burdens of proof: beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal domestic violence case; preponderance of the evidence in a child custody case and clear and convincing evidence in a child protective proceeding.
Finally, students will become familiar with proceedings involving the overlay of federal and state law through application of the Indian Child Welfare Act and the developing practice of Peacemaking in state court justice systems.
In lieu of a final exam, students will engage in a competition at the Washtenaw County Courthouse in conjunction with students from Wayne State Law School.