Course Code: PLBA 3001
Academic Year: 2020-2021
This course provides the skills, techniques and framework for implementing effective courtroom and tribunal advocacy strategies. It examines the various phases of litigation, from the drafting of pleadings to the pre-trial process and from the preparation of witnesses to trial strategies. Organized advocacy is emphasized through the use of checklists, case briefs, witness statements and trial notebooks. The students gain fluency in presenting opening and closing arguments, conducting direct examinations and cross-examinations, challenging expert evidence and preparing appeal factums. The course examines how the rules of evidence, privileged communications and evidentiary burdens shape the case presentation. The course develops strategies in dealing with certain categories of witnesses, including the evasive witness, the biased witness and the mistaken witness. The ethics of advocacy receives special attention by examining such contentious issues as disclosure of facts and law, cross-examination limits and communicating with a represented party.