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Trial Advocacy

The Defense Function

The student plays the role of a lawyer in a hypothetical criminal trial. As the trial progresses the student is faced with various problems raising issues under the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the ABA Standards for Criminal Justice. The lesson asks what should be done in each situation and responds to the student’s answer by commenting upon it, asking further questions, or progressing further with the trial.

This lesson was revised in accordance with the Model Rules of Conduct, as amended through August 2003.

Impeachment and Rehabilitation of Witnesses

This exercise begins with a transcript of the direct examination of a government witness in a criminal action. The direct examination will be followed by a crossexamination, and the student is asked to rule on objections to impeachment questions by the crossexaminer. The lesson focuses on permissible and impermissible impeachment concepts under the Federal Rules of Evidence. The exercise was composed under a grant from the Federal Judicial Center as part of its training program for incoming federal judges.