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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.

The Hearsay Rule & Its Exceptions

This exercise is based on a simulated trial in which the user is asked to rule on hearsay objections and to give reasons for the rulings. The exercise was composed under a grant from the Federal Judicial Center, which has used it, along with the Character Evidence exercise, as part of its training program for incoming federal judges. It is suitable for students who have completed their study of the hearsay rule and who know something about the rules relating to impeachment and crossexaminations.

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 student will be asked “remedial questions” after the completion of the first phase of this exercise if certain questions are erroneously answered. The lesson focuses on permissible and impermissible impeachment concepts under the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Sprague Case: Child Injury in Tort Law

These lessons have been temporaily removed for revisions. Thank you for your patience. CALI


The student answers questions concerning an eye injury to 7-year-old Edwina Sprague caused by her classmate, Brad Lee. The student must identify entities against whom claims may be made and must consider theories of those claims and instructions to the jury. Also, the student has an opportunity to submit to the computer questions seeking information from a vital witness; this information bears upon instructions to the jury.