How to Ethically Prepare and Conduct a Trial

Categories: ProfessionalU
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About Course

In this course, you will learn how to ethically prepare a trial, conduct a trial, and win.

This material covers both criminal and civil trials. But it is more than that. Long before justice finds its way to the courtroom, it happens in our community. It happens to the people who are closest to us and it happens to us. More than trial, this course is designed to help you ethically prepare for arbitration, for mediation, and for negotiation. It is this last skill, negotiation (or perhaps more appropriately called conversation) that we hope is improved the most through this course. Negotiation never ends, even through the trial itself, even after the winning verdict.

One Cannot Achieve a Noble End Through Ignoble Means

Why ethical? The ethical lens of this course is based on the maxim that one cannot achieve a noble end through ignoble means. Winning isn’t enough. We want our opponents, judges, and juries to objectively and rightly conclude that in the process of winning we were fundamentally fair.

What you can expect in this course is a collection of award-winning mock trial students, coaches, and some of the best trial lawyers in the world. Rather than filter those lawyers through my experience, I have done my best to simply share them in whatever form I could find from writings to videos.


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Course Content

Module: What to Expect

  • Module Overview and Learning Activities
  • Lesson: How to Navigate This Course
  • Video Lesson: Learning-by-Doing Method
  • Video: How to Navigate Reading PDFs in the Learning Management System
  • Lesson: Introduction to Brandon Blankenship
  • Video Lesson: Gerry Spence’s Winning Courtroom Strategies
  • Video Lesson: A Mulitmedia Introduction to Gerry Spence
  • Video Lesson: Fighting for the People | Gerry Spence | Ted Talk
  • Video Lesson: Introduction to Joshua Karton

Module: The Skill of Direct Examination (Beginner)

Module: Introduction to the Courtroom and Roles

Module: First Objection (Beginner)

Module: Responding to an Objection (Beginner)

Module: Yes Your Honor

Module: The Skill of Cross Examination (Beginner)

—- Section: Creating the Story of the Case

Module: Drafting the First Story

Module: Discovering The Other Stories

—- Section: From Discovering, Thinking, and Writing to Speaking

Telling the Story Through Opening Statement

Module: Developing Your Role(s) for the Courtroom

Module: Telling Story Through Direct Examination (Intermediate)

Module: Telling the Story Through Objections and Responses (Intermediate)

Telling the Story Through Cross-Examination (Intermediate)

Telling the Story Through Exhibits (Beginner)

Telling the Story Through Demonstratives

Telling the Story Through Closing Statement

—- !!! Stop Here !!! – Redesign Completed Through This Point

—- Section: Preparing a New Case

Module: Drafting the Universal Story of Your Case

Module: Investigation – Discovering Stories TEMP
The beginning of trial preparation is (1) wrestling with your own bias, (2) doing the work of the investigation, and (3) crafting stories.

Module: Speaking to Pursuade
Whether you have nothing, or you are overwhelmed with too much, this is where you start to prepare for trial.

Telling the Story Through Experts

Module: Layering on the Law, Rules, Admissions, and Stipulations

Testing Your Case (Scrimmage & Mock Trial)

Module: Things to Avoid in Cross Examination

—- Section: Preparing for Trial (or Competition)

Module: Trial Process

Module: How to Earn Points In Mock Trial

Module: Rules of Evidence (Advanced)

Module: Pre-Trial Motions

Module: Telling Your Story Through Answers to Questions from the Judge

Module: Mentoring with the Masters Check In

—- Section: Case Materials

Criminal Case Materials