Trial Preparation (Non-Jury only)
Instructors: Mick Hassell LL.B.; Heather Hui-Litwin J.D. (current LL.M. candidate at University of Toronto, Faculty of Law)
Duration: roughly 6 hours (spread over 3 sessions)
Many litigants are fearful of trials. Many self-represented litigants have no knowledge whatsoever about what a real trial involves. They only rely on what they learn on television. Unfortunately, real trials are more complicated than that. Although mastering the skills of advocacy takes years for lawyers, there are some fundamental concepts that every litigant can learn.
Due to the large amount of material to be mastered, this tutorial will be held over 3 sessions. In the first two sessions of this tutorial, you will learn how to prepare for your trial, from how to organize your evidence, to the rules of evidence that you must know. You will learn what is involved in presenting evidence (direct exam), and how to handle being cross examined. In the last session of the tutorial, you will be given the chance to rehearse your opening and closing arguments in front of the instructors/lawyers for feedback. These sessions are designed to explain the reasoning behind the procedures, so that you will understand the fundamental concepts, rather than trying to memorize rules blindly. It is also designed to be interactive, so that the effectiveness of the sessions are maximized.
Mick Hassell is a lawyer with extensive trial experience. Heather Hui-Litwin has a great deal of experience in teaching the law to lay people. She has presented many times at public libraries and high schools on various legal topics. She is also working on a thesis in the area of evidence law.
(Note: due to time constraints, the instructors will only accept students who has meritorious cases.)