Levin College of Law
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Criminal Litigation

Course Number: LAW 6107 Credits: 3

The objective of this course is to develop students’ legal skills by guiding them through several of the major steps involved in criminal litigation. Criminal Litigation will be offered as a three credit course and will meet once a week for three hours. The students will be divided into prosecutors and defense attorneys. Students will be given an information or indictment charging the defendant with a crime, and describing the factual allegations underlying the charge. The first half of each class session will be devoted to lecture, video presentations, short reading assignments and discussion. The second half of each class will consist of skills development through simulation exercises. A different topic will be covered in each class. Topics will include an overview of the criminal pretrial process, witness interviewing, preliminary hearings, plea bargaining, drafting a motion to suppress evidence, other pre and post trial motions; and how to conduct a suppression hearing. The class will also cover voir dire, writing opening statements, closing arguments, direct-and-cross-examinations, objections, jury instructions and sentencing hearings. The trial portion of this course will focus specifically on criminal trial strategy and substance, as opposed to the general trial process and technique which is covered in trial practice. By walking through these steps, students will strengthen their knowledge of criminal pretrial procedure, and develop their criminal litigation skills.