Evidence Law

Note: The Quercus program will be used for this course. Students must self-enrol in Quercus as soon as confirmed in the course in order to obtain course information.

Note: Students who enrol in Trial Advocacy are advised that no class is scheduled on Tuesday, September 4. The first class will be held on Thursday, September 6, 2018.

Because of the intensive nature of the course, attendance is mandatory. This includes mandatory preparation for, attendance at, and participation in, the first session of the course (Thursday, September 6th, 2018). Mandatory attendance is waived only in the event of emergencies and with the approval of the faculty administration. Students on the waitlist must attend, and will be penalized for classes missed during the add/drop period in the same way they are during the rest of the term.

Structure of the Course:
The course is organized around 1 hour plenary training/lecture sessions on Thursdays followed by a 2 hour participation workshop on Tuesdays. The workshops take place in small groups and are led by various faculty members made up of experienced trial lawyers. The Tuesday training/lecture sessions are led by faculty and special guests and are designed to deliver the fundamentals of the skills needed to perform specific trial tasks (such as examination in chief, cross examination, closing argument, etc.) in the subsequent two-hour workshops. The training/lecture sessions may include both live and recorded demonstrations and, where appropriate, interactive exercises in the plenary setting or in break-out sessions, where space and faculty numbers permit.

Final Trials -- The course culminates in a Final Trial held off campus (often at the Superior Court at 361 University Ave). The Final Trials are usually on the last workshop day of the term. To the extent possible, the course arranges for real judges to preside over the final trials.
IMPORTANT NOTE the final trials will start earlier and end later than the scheduled time for the workshop. Students will be expected to arrive by 5:00 p.m. and in some cases the trial may not end until 9:00 p.m. on that day. In certain circumstances changes may be made to accommodate practitioners and students schedules.

Skills taught -- This course facilitates the development of the skills necessary to conduct a jury or non-jury trial or hearing. It is structured so that each student can develop a personal style of advocacy that is effective and appropriate for the individual.

The course begins with basic trial advocacy skills (examination in chief and cross examination) and progresses to more advanced aspects of a trial (use of exhibits, impeachment, openings and closings and examining a professional or expert witness). Students will also develop skills in making objections and analysis and strategy in trial planning. For some classes, the witnesses will be real life counterparts such as police officers, homicide and forensic experts. Midway through the course, students will conduct a mini-trial in their small groups.

This course is graded as Credit/No Credit. All students will be assessed for each performance during every workshop out of 10. If there is more than one assessed exercise performed during a workshop, the average out of 10 will be recorded. The total of all workshops will equal 80% of your final grade. The lowest workshop grade will be dropped; the others will be averaged. The Final Trials are worth 20%. Workshop assignments will be posted to blackboard at least one week before each workshop. Each assignment will contain the readings pertaining to the next skill to be learned, and a description of the tasks you must prepare and then perform at the coming workshop. The written work will not be graded and can be in point form, but submission of work is mandatory. The written copy must be emailed to the chair before the start of the workshop or a hard copy must be handed in at the start of the workshop. Attendance is mandatory for all students at every workshop. Only authorized absences are accepted. Failure to attend a workshop or to hand in your preparation without authorized excuse will result in a no credit for the course regardless of the grade received until that point in the course.

At a Glance

First Term


64 JD


T: 6:10 - 8:00
Th: 6:10 - 7:30