Advanced Advocacy (Killeen/Boutin)

Course Number
Course Description

This is a graded three credit hour course that builds on the fundamentals taught in Introduction to Advocacy - with a focus on strategic theory development, and refining of trial skills. The course is intended to help you learn how to conduct a trial of a criminal case, although the skills taught are applicable to civil cases as well. The exercises are based upon case files, which include statements, exhibits, forensic reports, investigative notes and wiretap evidence. Those problems are designed for a jury trial, but the skills are necessary for any legal audience. This course will combine three distinct learning features:

  1. Case Presentation – we will discuss how to approach a case and prepare for hearing. It is intended to build upon the second year foundation courses in evidence, pre-trial process, and advocacy, as well as the first term course in criminal procedure.
  1. Advanced advocacy training – instruction will be given on fundamental principles of presentation/communication to a variety of audiences. The focus of the course will be on jury advocacy, but the skills learned will apply to all advocacy.
  1. Advanced Skill development – students will be called upon to do workshop exercises based upon the advocacy training discussed above.

The course will be taught at the Law Courts Building in Winnipeg so that students can experience what it is like to conduct a case in an actual courtroom. The course will run from six p.m. until nine p.m. on Thursdays. The first class will be in January, 2023.  On some occasions, an instructor or guest lecturer may not be able to be present in person. Please bring your computers so that we can accommodate virtual appearances.

We will deliver part of the course by brief introductory lectures or demonstrations. These lectures will focus on advocacy theory and procedure, and will be coupled with practical application. The goal will be to familiarize you with strategic theory-based advocacy, so that students can gain a better understanding of what it is like to be counsel on a trial.

Limited to 12 students.

Teaching Method

The course will be taught generally in three-hour sessions, however flexibility may be required to accommodate special simulations. The course revolves around you learning by “doing”. You can anticipate that throughout the 14 weeks you will be called upon to do 5-6 simulations and a trial. We will provide feedback. The comments are designed to point to strengths and weaknesses, to address procedure, and presentation.
The first classes will be comprised of lectures on theory-based advocacy, then demonstrations of basic techniques. Those include: marking an exhibit, creating a record, impeaching a witness, refreshing the memory of a witness and will highlight the differences between direct and cross-examination.
There will be a class on the Charter of Rights, followed by team presentations on a Charter issue. On each scenario, one student will argue a breach, with their partner arguing for the s.24(2) remedy. This component will rely on legal research as well as a factual analysis, but the focus will remain on the presentation of argument.
There will also be the presentation of criminal trials, with students acting as half of a Crown or Defence team. Other students will act of witnesses.

Attendance in class is mandatory. If you are unable to attend a class it is your responsibility to inform the instructors as soon as possible.


The evaluation will be based on the following components:
• 50% Class Participation and simulations
• 20% Charter Argument
• 30% Full Trial

Course Materials

There is no required textbook. Students are advised to refer to various advocacy texts found in the library, most of which are devoted to jury advocacy, and can be found in the KF 8915 area.