Basic Skills in Trial Advocacy
Professor:John L. Carroll
Fact Gathering, Case Preparation, and Motions in Limine
A. Chapter 2 of Murray, pages 7-18
B. Chapter 4 of Murray, pages 53-67
C. Chapter 9 of Murray, pages 234-237
D. Chapter 13 of Murray, pages 373-374
E. Rules 26, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
F. Rules 15, 16 and 17 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure
The discussion in the large section will focus on the importance of case preparation which includes fact gathering and approaches to evidence including motions in limine. The fact gathering discussions will focus on two hypotheticals which you have already received.
Small sections with your student number will be assigned on Monday, August 20th. You will need your student number to complete your small section assignment below.
In small sections this week students will do two things: 1) discuss their case preparation and 2) discuss fact gathering.
1. Case preparation - you are to conduct a thorough case preparation for the case and side that you are assigned below. This should include (but is not limited to) the following:
a. Determining what elements you have to prove (substantive elements of the claim you are making if you are the Plaintiff or elements of any affirmative defense you are asserting if you are the Defendant) or the other side has to prove to prevail.
b. Determining what are the “good facts” (i.e., the facts on your side) and “bad facts” (i.e., those against you) in the case.
c. Determining whether any motions in limine are appropriate (i.e., do you want to get a pretrial ruling that certain “bad facts” won’t come into evidence or a ruling that certain “good facts” will?).
d. What is your “theory of the case?” Your theory of the case should be a logical, persuasive story of “what really happened” consistent with the undisputed evidence, your version of the disputed evidence, and common sense.
e. What theme or themes will you have and what memorable words or phrases that summarize your position on critical issues?
f. How do you make your case have jury appeal?
2. Fact Gathering - You are to analyze the case and side that you are assigned below and be prepared to discuss how you would gather the relevant facts. This should include (but is not limited to) the following:
1) What formal discovery will you undertake? What forms will it take?
2) How will you gather the relevant other facts?
Student #1 Burns prosecution
Student #2 Jones plaintiff
Student #3 Dixon plaintiff
Student #4 Jones plaintiff
Student #5 Burns defense
Student #6 Jones defense
Student #7 Dixon defense
Student #8 Jones defense
Page last updated: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 16:18
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