ADVOCACY OF CRIMINAL
CASES (4) (CRI 200)
Professor Frank Bress
Advocacy of Criminal Cases (“ACC”) introduces students to the law and skills involved in criminal practice. The twice weekly seminars alternate between skills exercises, discussion of criminal law, procedure and ethics, and simulations of the major stages of a criminal case from post-arrest through trial. Throughout the semester, student litigation teams consisting of two prosecutors and two defense attorneys, each supervised by one of the seminar faculty, litigate a single criminal case. The semester-long case simulation includes interviews (police, client and witness), arraignments (local criminal and superior courts), a probable cause hearing, scheduling conferences, plea negotiations, a suppression hearing and argument, and a full-day jury trial. In addition, students draft accusatory instruments, discovery and suppression motions, memoranda of law, and requests to charge. Approximately half of the seminar sessions are devoted to focused skill exercises and drills and discussion designed to prepare the students for their roles in the semester-long case simulation. The topics covered include charging, arrest and pre-trial release, discovery, suppression and exclusion of evidence, and trial. The skills developed include information acquisition (interviewing, direct and cross examination, and drafting discovery requests), development of a case theory, case planning, and persuasion (memoranda of law, oral argument and summation). The course follows New York’s penal and criminal procedure laws and rules of evidence. Enrollment is limited to sixteen students and permission of the instructors required. Pre-requisites may be waived with the permission of the instructor.
Recommended co-requisites: Criminal Procedure: Investigation; Criminal Procedure: Adjudication
Note: It is recommended that Trial Advocacy be taken after ACC, not before. Trial Ad may not be taken contemporaneously with ACC.