Trial Essentials

Mastering the essentials of trial practice: opening statements, closing arguments, directs and cross-exams. Also covers courtroom decorum and ethical issues that arise during a trial.

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    Opening Statements

    A walk-through of how to prepare and ultimately deliver your opening statement. Covers how to get the jury’s attention right away, tell your client’s story, introduce key evidence, distill complexities, handle negative evidence, and end with a bang. Also teaches specific things you can do (and not do) to win the jury over.

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    Direct Examination

    How to prepare for direct examination of a fact witness, so you can go into your prep session with a trial-ready outline. Includes how to cover affirmative points that you need to get in through the witness, how to neutralize negative points you expect on cross, how and when to use exhibits, and how to think about redirect. (Prepping the witness is covered in a different course.)

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    Cross Examination

    Strategic guidance on the meticulous preparation required to conduct cross examination. Includes how to organize your outline, decide what to cover, start and end your cross, and draft effective questions. Also discusses how to adjust your plan in real time based on the witness’s direct, how to use exhibits, and other tips for a successful execution.

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    Closing Argument

    Step-by-step guidance on building your closing argument, from pre-trial planning to acing the delivery. Includes how to structure the closing, draft it persuasively, and make it clear for the jury. Also teaches how to decide what to put in your closing, including what to look for you as you monitor the evidence coming in during trial.

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    Courtroom Decorum

    A discussion of how to present yourself in the courtroom. Includes how to show proper respect to the judge, interact with opposing counsel, and convey the utmost professionalism at all times.

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    Trial Ethics

    Ethical considerations that come into play throughout trial. Discusses ethical duties related to your client, witnesses, the judge and jury, the opposing party, and the public.