The program will begin at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday, January 4, 2020. Attendees may register from 4:00–7:00 p.m. on Friday, or from 7:30–8:30 a.m. on Saturday. Attendees staying at the Inn at Darden may check in from 4:00 p.m. Friday or anytime on Saturday. A reception will be held outside Abbott Dining Center at the Darden Business School at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at the conclusion of the day's classes.
First, all participants will attend daily live lectures and
demonstrations by some of the finest speakers and lawyers in the
country. In addition, from the beginning of the program, each
participant will be assigned to a small group of like-experienced
lawyers. Within the groups — individually led by at least one
experienced trial lawyer or judge from our faculty — each
participant will study and perform every aspect of trial advocacy:
opening statements, direct examination, cross-examination, and
Next, each group will learn and practice advocacy skills under the guidance of a different faculty member. Participants will take part in individual exercises, with accompanying group discussions and critique, designed to focus on particular advocacy skills. These exercises may be video recorded, copies of which will be available to each participant.
Finally, the skill building and practice will culminate in participants conducting, as lead counsel, a live mock jury trial typically presided over by an experienced federal or state court judge. At the conclusion of the mock trial, the judge will discuss and critique the trial with the participants.
Attendees will have the evenings to prepare for their presentations the following day. Training will end on Tuesday, and a conference on the final trials will be held that afternoon. Wednesday morning is devoted to final trial preparation. Each attendee will then have a mock jury trial Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning, and serve as a witness for other trials on his or her non-trial day. The course adjourns at the conclusion of the final trial.