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Trial Advocacy in Action: 20 Exercises to Sharpen Your Criminal Case Skills, First Edition

  • Brent E. Newton
Series / NITA
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Defendant Reginald McKay, a mentally disturbed American who became a "home-grown" Islamic terrorist, poisoned members of a Jewish temple during Passover seder. After one of the poisoned congregants died, the Feds got a lucky break thanks to an eyewitness and modern computer forensics and quickly built a death penalty case against McKay. Newton's case file, United States v. McKay, is built around the tragic story of McKay and his victims and includes twenty advocacy exercises from all major stages of a criminal case. Each of these twenty exercises will introduce a wrinkle-involving a constitutional challenge to procedures or evidence-that students then analyze through the lens of the Supreme Court's decisions in landmark criminal procedure cases such as Batson v. Kentucky, Jackson v. Virginia, and United States v. Cronic, among others. Taken as a whole, these exercises track the maneuverings of a complex criminal defense and prosecution, starting with pretrial motions; continuing through jury selection, trial, and sentencing; and concluding with postconviction motions. An instructor using Trial Advocacy in Action may, as desired, direct students either to prepare short written pleadings or to practice oral advocacy in support of their legal arguments. This fusion of factually compelling scenarios and intellectually challenging legal doctrines creates a robust learning experience that seeks to hone students' skills regarding both legal analysis and legal advocacy concerning constitutional issues that arise throughout the entire course of a criminal case. Trial Advocacy in Action is ideal for use in upper-level criminal procedure classes, law school mock trial competitions, and continuing legal education (CLE) seminars for new criminal practitioners.
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