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Curriculum

The LL.M. curriculum blends lectures, faculty demonstrations, individual instruction and student performance into a year-long experience designed to develop and hone the skills of the attorney who wishes to try complex cases.

The program emphasizes creating the theory of the case, understanding of the advocacy process and carrying the theory into practice. The curriculum takes full advantage fo the richness and variety of legal issues which arise in trial advocacy.

LITIGATION STRATEGY

In the final analysis, the jury adopts the most coherent, consistent and logical theory presented as its own. This course was created by S. Gerald Litvin of Litvin, Blumberg, Matusow and Young, one of the architects of the LL.M. in Trial Advocacy. The curriculum is driven by the concept that the trial lawyer needs to develop a compelling and persuasive presentation of his or her client's theory. A broad spectrum of actual commercial and tort cases are examined in terms of the strategic decisions and tactical choices made by the parties. Students re-enact critical stages of the litigation in performance exercises under the guidance of the expert attorneys who actually tried the cases.

EXPERT WITNESSES

Complicated civil litigation often turns on the lawyer's ability to marshall and clearly present expert testimony and to effectively meet experts presented by the opponent. The structure of this course was created by George J. Lavin, Jr., founding partner of Lavin, Coleman, Finarelli, Ricci, O'Neill & Gray. Lead by Mr. Lavin, the faculty guides students through selecting and deposing the professional witness, analyzing reports, preparing the witness for the courtroom appearance and cross-examining the adversarial witness. After a series of lectures and demonstrations, students conduct direct and cross examination on "real" experts in fields such as engineering, accident reconstruction and economics.

PERSUASIVE SPEAKING

Every trial lawyer knows that the strongest facts are useless unless they are persuasively communicated. This course, designed by Herbert F. Kolsby of Kolsby, Gordon, Robin & Shore and Director Emeritus of the LL.M. in Trial Advocacy, concentrates on the techniques of opening statements and closing arguments. Emphasis is given not only to the effective liability summation, but to the convincing damage presentation as well. An inter-disciplinary approach is taken by a faculty of renowned litigators and speech experts who combine years of courtroom experience with empirical research on juror attitudes and psychology.

ART OF ADVOCACY

The effective advocate must know how to prepare a witness, present a convincing direct examination and effectively cross-examine the opposition. Through a series of simulated cases, you develop sophisticated questioning skills under direct faculty supervision. Group sessions supplement individual counseling and faculty demonstrations in the development of winning techniques.

ADVANCED TRIAL EVIDENCE

The only evidence that can persuade is the evidence the jury hears. In this course, students intensively review the law of courtroom evidence and refine their ability to make and meet objections. Planned and taught by Edward D. Ohlbaum, Professor of Law and Director of Trial Advocacy & Clinical Legal Education at Temple University's Beasley School of Law, the curriculum translates classroom lectures into practical exercises that turn the rules of evidence from an impediment to an advantage for the skilled practitioner. Professor Ohlbaum, a nationally known authority in the field, teaches not only the Federal Rules of Evidence, but also compares and contrasts them with the evidence codes from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

JURY SELECTION

The battle is truly won only by convincing the jury. This interdisciplinary course combines the efforts of communications and jury selection experts as well as distinguished litigators. Students are trained in the use of focus groups or "shadow juries" to their case theories through a variety of components. The performance portion of this course includes conducting voir dire of "real people" acting as jurors, making a presentation to the jurors and then observing their deliberations through closed circuit monitors.

TECHNOLOGY IN THE COURTROOM

In this course the philosophy and practical applications of the expanding use of technology in the courtroom are discussed. Students receive "hands on" training in the use of Powerpoint and use this instruction during at least one of the jury trials during the course of the year.

THE JURY TRIAL

The effective lawyer must be able to draw on a fund of experience to meet the unexpected at trial. Although each course in the program provides extensive "on you feet" exercises, in this course, you try five full jury trials in such diverse categories as employment discrimination, commercial fraud, medical malpractice and products liability. Experienced litigators act as judges for the trials. After the trial is completed, each attorney is critiqued by the judge-instructor. Students and senior citizens act as jurors and provide feedback as well.

Facilities

All classes will be held at the James E. Beasley School of Law on Temple University's Campus, 1719 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA. Our space includes specifically designed courtrooms as well as "smart" classrooms with access to computer technology.

Faculty

Instructors are drawn from the practicing bar as well as the faculty of Temple University's Beasley School of Law. All of the professors from the law school were practicing trial lawyers before becoming teachers. All are certified teachers of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA). Our adjunct faculty is composed of excellent litigators from varied backgrounds tort and commercial, criminal, intellectual property to name a few. They are not only excellent lawyers they are great teachers.

Contact Us: LL.M. in Trial Advocacy, 1719 North Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19122, 215-204-5314 voice, 215-204-5994 fax, llmtrial@temple.edu.