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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: CJAD 333
Course Title: *Topics: Mock Trial
Number of:
Credit Hours 1
Lecture Hours 1
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Available to members of the Columbia College Mock Trial Team. Requires participation beginning in the Fall when the team begins preparing the case through the end of the Mock Trial season. Cross-listed as POSC 233/333. Course may be repeated five times for a total of six semester hours. Prerequisite: Must be a full-time Columbia College student.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Must be a full-time Columbia College student.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall and Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

All case materials are provided by the American Mock Trial Association (hereinafter AMTA). Further information regarding AMTA can be obtained at Additionally, there are at least two textbooks commercially available (listed below) that provide guidance on mock trial issues.

Mock Trials: Preparing, Presenting and Winning Your Case
By Lubet and Trumbull-Harris (National Institute for Trial Advocacy)
Pleasing the Court: A Mock Trial Handbook
By Vile (Houghton Mifflin)
Course Objectives
  • To understand and appreciate the process of trial advocacy in the legal system.
  • To gain experience with common terminology and methods used by professions in the American Trial process.
  • To enhance critical thinking, research and communication skills on legal issues.
  • To apply relevant legal principles to assorted factual situations.
  • To examine the distinction between the role of advocate and witness in the legal system.
    Measurable Learning
  • Describe the history of inter-collegiate mock trial and the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA).
  • Explain the process followed in a trial governed by AMTA rules.
  • Describe the similarities and differences between a civil and criminal case.
  • Describe the differences in strategy and tactics between direct and cross examination of a witness.
  • Explain the differences in strategy and tactics between opening statement and closing argument in a trial.
  • Analyze, explain and apply the following rules of evidence:
    - Hearsay and exceptions to the hearsay rule
    - Impeachment of witnesses
    - Logical and legal relevance
    - Opinion testimony by lay and expert witnesses
  • Interpret and apply the meaning of specific statuary provisions supplied by AMTA to the annual case problem.
  • Describe the process for introducing documentary and physical evidence in court proceedings.
  • Describe the process for utilizing demonstrative evidence in court proceedings.
  • Construct and evaluate legal arguments.
    Topical Outline: The Outline varies by year, dependent upon information provided by the American Mock Trial Association.

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 24

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Barry Langford Date: September 21, 2005
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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