Instructor(s): Julie Hannaford, Eric Sadvari
Evidence Law

Note: The Quercus program will be used for this course. 

Note: Students who enrol in Trial Advocacy are advised that no class is scheduled on Tuesday, September 6. The first class will be held on Thursday, September 8, 2022.

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 8, 2022).  Mandatory attendance is waived only with the approval of the Assistant Dean, JD Program.  Students on the waitlist must attend all classes 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 Thursday lecture/participation sessions and Tuesday participation workshops.  The sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays are led by experienced trial lawyers who are part of the teaching faculty in the course.  The Thursday sessions are designed to teach the trial skills needed to perform the specific trial tasks assigned for the next following Tuesday workshop session. 

Final Trials -- The course culminates in teams of students conducting a Final Trial before a judge and a jury on the last Tuesday workshop of the course (likely November 29, 2022).  The trials will be conducted in person, subject to the availability of the courthouse, judges, and public health directives.    

The final trials may start earlier and end later than the scheduled time for the workshop.  If the final trials are being conducted in person in the courthouse, students will be expected to be in the courthouse by at least 5:45 pm to clear security and to be ready to start their trials at 6:10 pm sharp.  If a student has a course that precedes the Trial Advocacy Tuesday session, the students will be responsible for arranging early departure from their course on the final trials evening. 

Skills taught -- This course facilitates the development of the skills necessary to conduct a jury or non-jury trial or hearing and to develop advocacy skills.  The course is structured so that each student can develop a personal style of advocacy that is effective and appropriate for the individual student.  Students will be taught best practises for advocacy.  Students will learn how to use and navigate Caselines during the course.  

Students begin by learning and doing basic trial advocacy skills (examination in chief and cross examination).  Students then progress to learn how to use exhibits, how to properly impeach witnesses (also using screen sharing effectively) opening statement and closing argument (all with visual aids). 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.  Midway through the course, students will conduct a “mini-trial” in their small groups. 

This course uses Quercus.  Workshop assignments will be posted to Quercus before each workshop. The 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. Each workshop assignment will require that students submit a written component.  The written component will not be graded and can be in any length the student determines is appropriate and can be in point form, but submission of work is mandatory. The written copy of the assignment must be emailed to the assignment email ( before 6 pm on the day of the Tuesday workshop. 

Please note:   

  1. Mandatory attendance is waived only with the approval of the Assistant Dean, JD Program. Failure to attend a class session or to hand in your required written  preparation without an authorized absence will result in a no credit for the course.  Students enrolled in the course will be required to confirm in writing that they understand this requirement and will attend classes subject only to authorized absences.  

  1. Authorized absences can only be granted in writing by the Law School administration in advance of any session, and not by the course directors or instructors. Students cannot request an authorized absence from course instructors or course director. 

This course is graded as Credit/No Credit. For internal purposes and to track performance and skills development, the instructors will grade the students’ performances in each workshop out of 10.
Academic year
2022 - 2023

At a Glance

First Term



40 JD


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