4 credits. S/U grades only.
LAW 6401 or permission of instructor.
The purpose of this course is to give students the opportunity to conduct non-jury trials. While the cases are the prosecution of non-criminal violations in Ithaca City Court, the course is focused on developing trial skills as they apply to both prosecution and defense of criminal and civil cases. The course has both a classroom component and a courtroom component. The classroom component involves lecture, discussion and trial simulation exercises. Topics include criminal law and procedure, prosecution ethics, trial strategy and preparation, trial conduct including direct and cross-examination, plea-bargaining and professional judgment. The courtroom component involves regular attendance at Ithaca City Court’s non-jury terms. Students will observe and critique trials and will prosecute offenses including traffic tickets (such as speeding and running a red light), city code violations (such as open container and noise offenses), non-criminal penal law violations (such as disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana) among others. Each student will be expected to conduct multiple trials during the semester, depending on docket volume. During the semester students will also be expected to prepare witnesses (typically police officers), conduct plea-bargaining negotiations, case research and fact investigation, respond to discovery demands, and engage in legal research, motion practice, and appellate practice as needed. Note: This course requires off premises travel within the City of Ithaca. The student is responsible for travel to and from the sites.