San Diego Inn of Court offers programs twice a year: “Trial Practice” and “Workshop on Evidence.” Both programs are presented in a combined lecture/demonstration/workshop format with some of the most accomplished lawyers and most distinguished judges in San Diego County lecturing, demonstrating and leading the workshops. It is truly a “learn by doing” experience taught by the best in the San Diego legal community

The “Trial Practice” program consists of one evening lecture/demonstration session a week for five weeks interspersed with four hands-on workshops. Each week, a team of lecturers explain and demonstrate the mechanics of trial from jury selection to closing arguments, and every step in between. The “Trial Practice” explores every part of Jury Trial including Motions In Limine, Jury Selection, Opening Statement, Direct and Cross Examination and Closing Argument.

Before the workshops, each student is paired with another student, one representing the plaintiff and the other the defendant. Students are given a factual scenario together with some deposition testimony and possible exhibits to work with throughout the course. A maximum of 6 students are assigned to each of 18 courtrooms, with each pair having one hour to try out for themselves what they learned in the lecture/demonstration.

This “hands-on” approach allows new trial lawyers to practice in an actual courtroom with experienced local judges and lawyers that assist in the training and provide insight. As a result, graduates can expect to exude confidence and professionalism when they return to court and try their actual cases.

A distinguished member of the San Diego Bench presents a two-part lecture on the rules of evidence with demonstrations by experienced trial attorneys. Enrollees receive a softbound 2008 California Evidence Code and a trial manual containing direct and cross-examinations based on an actual case. Lecturers discuss the rules of evidence with a focus on proper procedures and etiquette of the courtroom. Learn the intricacies of admitting and excluding evidence, as well as when and how to make appropriate objections.

Senior members of both the San Diego County Bench and Bar will present the lectures and lead the workshops. The workshops will consist of an attorney from the local Bar as workshop leader, a judge from the local Bench as an observer, and six enrollees paired in teams of two. Enrollees will conduct direct and cross-examination of witnesses based on written materials provided to them for the program.

Enrollees practice introducing various exhibits, and learn to make appropriate objections. The program is designed to teach recognition and handling of a wide variety of evidentiary problems in civil and criminal cases.