Tuesday, May 8, 2018
This is the fourth and penultimate post in the "Good Litigating is Good Teaching" series.
Part Four: Experts & Exhibits
Call Expert Witnesses
When a subject is unique or complicated, attorneys call expert witnesses to testify about the concept. Professors should do the same. The professor can capitalize on the law student’s propensity to impart credibility on to statements being offered by practicing attorneys and judges asked to present as guest speakers within the classroom context. Perhaps it is the “war story” format that the student finds intriguing, or the switch from the traditional case method. Regardless, an expert witness can serve as a positive alterative to the more traditional case method presentation.
Use Demonstrative Exhibits
If a concept involves several different people, places, or things, you can almost guarantee that a trial attorney will produce a demonstrative exhibit to aid the jury in understanding the relationship between the items. Professors should do the same. For example, the professor could prepare a large chart or poster board, with blank spaces to be filled-in during the class, depending on student responses. For example, when discussing a negligence case, the attorney/professor may display a large board with “duty, breach, causation, and damages” down the left side, and blank spaces to the right to be filled-in as the witness testifies or student responds.
Stay tuned for next week's closing arguments.