420 Trial Practice

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, and Closing Argument. Depending on the instructor, Expert witnesses may also be a class topic. 

In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the skills using simulated problems and case files. Every student performs at every class.  After each performance, each student receives constructive comments from their faculty member.  Students video recordings of each of their performances and at least several are reviewed privately with the student’s instructor. Each faculty member is an experienced trial lawyer.

The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. When the trial ends, the jury deliberates, and students can watch via a video and audio feed.

Please note: The Trial Practice Intensive is scheduled to begin on the evening of Thursday, January 16, 2025 and continue with sessions on the afternoon of Friday, January 17; half day on Saturday, January 18; and half day Sunday, January 19. Attendance is mandatory for each session.

Enrollment Pre-/Co- Requisite Information

Law 245 Evidence is a pre-requisite for Trial Practice.  This course is not open to students who are taking, or have taken, Law 422 Criminal Trial Practice.

Course Areas of Practice
Degree Requirements
Course Type
  • Simulation
Learning Outcomes
  • Other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession

Spring 2024

2024
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor

420.01 3 Donald H. Beskind

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, and Closing Argument. Depending on the instructor, Expert witnesses may also be a class topic. 

In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the skills using simulated problems and case files. Every student performs at every class.  After each performance, each student receives constructive comments from their faculty member.  Students video recordings of each of their performances and at least several are reviewed privately with the student’s instructor. Each faculty member is an experienced trial lawyer.

The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. When the trial ends, the jury deliberates, and students can watch via a video and audio feed. 

Please note: The Trial Practice Intensive is scheduled to begin on the evening of Thursday, January 11, and continue with sessions on the afternoon of Friday, January 12; half day on Saturday, January 13; and half day Sunday, January 14. Attendance is mandatory for each session.

Pre/Co-requisites

Law 245 Evidence is a pre-requisite for Trial Practice.  This course is not open to students who are taking, or have taken, Law 422 Criminal Trial Practice.

420.02 3 Michael Dockterman

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, and Closing Argument. Depending on the instructor, Expert witnesses may also be a class topic. 

In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the skills using simulated problems and case files. Every student performs at every class.  After each performance, each student receives constructive comments from their faculty member.  Students video recordings of each of their performances and at least several are reviewed privately with the student’s instructor. Each faculty member is an experienced trial lawyer.

The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. When the trial ends, the jury deliberates, and students can watch via a video and audio feed. 

Please note: The Trial Practice Intensive is scheduled to begin on the evening of Thursday, January 11, and continue with sessions on the afternoon of Friday, January 12; half day on Saturday, January 13; and half day Sunday, January 14. Attendance is mandatory for each session.

Pre/Co-requisites

Law 245 Evidence is a pre-requisite for Trial Practice.  This course is not open to students who are taking, or have taken, Law 422 Criminal Trial Practice.

Spring 2023

2023
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor

420.01 3 Michael Dockterman

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

Please note: The Trial Practice Intensive is scheduled to begin on the evening of Thursday, January 12, and continue with sessions on the afternoon of Friday, January 13; morning of Saturday, January 14; and morning of Sunday, January 15. Attendance is required at these sessions.

Pre/Co-requisites

Law 245 Evidence is a pre-requisite for Trial Practice. This course is not open to students who are taking, or have taken, Law 422 Criminal Trial Practice.

420.02 3 Mark Anderson

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

Please note: The Trial Practice Intensive is scheduled to begin on the evening of Thursday, January 12, and continue with sessions on the afternoon of Friday, January 13; morning of Saturday, January 14; and morning of Sunday, January 15. Attendance is required at these sessions.

Pre/Co-requisites

Law 245 Evidence is a pre-requisite for Trial Practice. This course is not open to students who are taking, or have taken, Law 422 Criminal Trial Practice.

Spring 2022

2022
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor

420.01 3 Donald H. Beskind

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

Pre/Co-requisites

Law 245 Evidence is a pre-requisite for Trial Practice. This course is not open to students who are taking, or have taken, Law 422 Criminal Trial Practice.

420.02 3 Michael Dockterman

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

Pre/Co-requisites

Law 245 Evidence is a pre-requisite for Trial Practice. This course is not open to students who are taking, or have taken, Law 422 Criminal Trial Practice.

Spring 2021

2021
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor

420.01 3 Donald H. Beskind, Thomas K. Maher, Michael Dockterman

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

Pre/Co-requisites

Law 245 Evidence is a pre-requisite for Trial Practice. This course is not open to students who are taking, or have taken, Law 422 Criminal Trial Practice.

Spring 2020

2020
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor

420.01 3 Donald H. Beskind

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

Pre/Co-requisites
Evidence

420.02 3 Michael Dockterman

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

Pre/Co-requisites
Evidence

Spring 2019

2019
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor

420.01 3 Donald H. Beskind

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

In the Fall, the class, which focuses on criminal trials, lasts the full semester. Three sections focusing on civil trials and one section focusing on criminal trials Law 422 are offered in the Spring.

Pre/Co-requisites
Evidence

Spring 2018

2018
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor

420.01 3 Donald H. Beskind

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

In the Fall, the class, which focuses on criminal trials, lasts the full semester. Three sections focusing on civil trials and one section focusing on criminal trials Law 422 are offered in the Spring.

Pre/Co-requisites
Evidence

420.02 3 Michael Dockterman

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

In the Fall, the class, which focuses on criminal trials, lasts the full semester. Three sections focusing on civil trials and one section focusing on criminal trials Law 422 are offered in the Spring.

Pre/Co-requisites
Evidence

Spring 2017

2017
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor

420.01 3 Donald H. Beskind

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

In the Fall, the class, which focuses on criminal trials, lasts the full semester. Three sections focusing on civil trials and one section focusing on criminal trials Law 422 are offered in the Spring.

Pre/Co-requisites
Evidence

420.02 3 Michael Dockterman

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

In the Fall, the class, which focuses on criminal trials, lasts the full semester. Three sections focusing on civil trials and one section focusing on criminal trials Law 422 are offered in the Spring.

Pre/Co-requisites
Evidence

420.03 3 William S. Mills

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

In the Fall, the class, which focuses on criminal trials, lasts the full semester. Three sections focusing on civil trials and one section focusing on criminal trials Law 422 are offered in the Spring.

Pre/Co-requisites
Evidence

Spring 2016

2016
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor

420.02 3 Michael Dockterman

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

In the Fall, the class lasts the full semester. Usually only one section is offered in the Fall.

In the Spring, the class begins with a three-day Intensive Session in January and finishes before Spring Break. Students planning to take the course in the Spring should check the academic calendar for the date of the Intensive Session. No student may take the course in the Spring unless he or she can attend the entire Intensive Session. Five sections are offered in the Spring.

Pre/Co-requisites

Students must have taken Evidence prior to taking this course.

420.03 3 Thomas K. Maher

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

In the Fall, the class lasts the full semester. Usually only one section is offered in the Fall.

In the Spring, the class begins with a three-day Intensive Session in January and finishes before Spring Break. Students planning to take the course in the Spring should check the academic calendar for the date of the Intensive Session. No student may take the course in the Spring unless he or she can attend the entire Intensive Session. Five sections are offered in the Spring.

Pre/Co-requisites

Students must have taken Evidence prior to taking this course.

420.04 3 Donald H. Beskind

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

In the Fall, the class lasts the full semester. Usually only one section is offered in the Fall.

In the Spring, the class begins with a three-day Intensive Session in January and finishes before Spring Break. Students planning to take the course in the Spring should check the academic calendar for the date of the Intensive Session. No student may take the course in the Spring unless he or she can attend the entire Intensive Session. Five sections are offered in the Spring.

Pre/Co-requisites

Students must have taken Evidence prior to taking this course.

420.05 3 William S. Mills

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

In the Fall, the class lasts the full semester. Usually only one section is offered in the Fall.

In the Spring, the class begins with a three-day Intensive Session in January and finishes before Spring Break. Students planning to take the course in the Spring should check the academic calendar for the date of the Intensive Session. No student may take the course in the Spring unless he or she can attend the entire Intensive Session. Five sections are offered in the Spring.

Pre/Co-requisites

Students must have taken Evidence prior to taking this course.

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.