Constitutional Criminal Procedure and Advocacy



Constitutional Criminal Procedure and Advocacy is an introductory course in Criminal Procedure that focuses entirely upon issues raised by pretrial law enforcement investigatory practices, the validity of which is measured principally by certain provisions of the Constitution of the United States, including the amendments thereto.

The principal topics covered in this course are search and seizure, confessions, right to counsel, and the exclusionary rules. The course will mainly study and discuss cases decided by the United States Supreme Court, although some lower federal and state court decisions will also be noted. The design of this course is predicated on the notion of "flipping the classroom."

The preparation for the course begins with students reading the casebook materials (typical edited judicial decisions and notes) and then viewing narrated PowerPoints (created by the professor) covering the subject matter. After absorbing those materials, students will take graded quizzes on the topics studied. The class then meets in a "workshop" session, where preassigned groups meet, discuss, and prepare an argument on a motion to suppress evidence based on a problem designed for that purpose. The in-court presentation takes place during the next class session. Preassigned presenters act as "lawyers" to argue the motion. The professor acts as a judge and at the conclusion of the "hearing" the judge renders a decision. All presentations are graded.

The final course grade is based on quizzes, presentations, a midterm and a final exam.