Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Adjunct Professor

I guess I'll have to stop verbally bashing the GW alumni network - well, at least as much as I do now.  As I have previously written, a few weeks ago, I contacted one of the professors who teaches trial practice at the University of Hawaii law school.  We went to the same college (a few decades apart, obviously).  Normally GW alums don't offer each other much support, but he seemed thrilled to talk to someone from him alma mater.  Anyway, the trial practice class is taught by him (let's call him Professor C) and a former state-level trial court judge (let's call her Judge M).  Professor C said he would talk to the judge and get back to me.  I honestly expected that I would have to call him back after New Year's when the semester started in order to remind him.  I was wrong.  He called me back two days ago to schedule a meeting between the three of us.  Well all met at Professor C's office this morning and talked about what I wanted to do, what my interests were, my qualifications, and the reasons I wanted to help.  The meeting lasted about an hour (wherein the judge talked A LOT about how awesome she is...I liked her right away!).  They gave me a copy of the syllabus and case file they use for class and said if I was willing to commit to the entire semester that they are happy to have a third.  In fact, it actually works out well because Judge M won't be there for the first 3 weeks so they needed the extra help anyway.  The class starts January 18 and as of that day, I think it's safe to cross off something on my list of things I want to do before leaving.

So how does the class work!?  I knew you'd want to know, so I will tell you.  There are 12 students in the class.  Each student is given the same case file, which includes several deposition transcripts/statements, a few exhibits, stipulated facts, and jury instructions.  It is a civil medical malpractice case about a guy suing a hospital for injuries he suffered from a procedure (I haven't read the whole case yet).  The class is then divided in half (6 Plaintiff/6 Defense) and they are expected to prepare each aspect of trial from start to finish. The first week the students conduct voir dire (jury selection).  The next week they do opening statements.  This continues until the end of the semester.  Unlike some schools, there is no final trial at the end where they are expected to put everything together.  It is more of a weekly exercise class and is graded pass/fail.

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