Advocacy of Criminal Cases
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 jury trial. Throughout the semester, student litigation teams consisting of two prosecutors and two defense attorneys, each supervised by 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. The course is open to 2Ls and 3Ls. Enrollment is limited to sixteen and permission of the instructors required. ACC is offered in the Spring only. Neither the Criminal Justice Workshop and Seminar nor Trial Advocacy may be taken in the same semester as ACC. Prerequisites may be waived at the discretion of the professor.
Second Year Students:
• Prerequisites: Criminal Law, Evidence, Criminal Procedure Law – Investigation
• Corequisites: Criminal Procedure – Adjudication
Third Year Students:
• Pre-requisites: Criminal Law, Evidence, Criminal Procedure – Investigation, Criminal Procedure – Adjudication
• Recommended Courses: Criminal Procedure – Ethics in Criminal Practice