Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.

245.2 sec. 002 - Civil Trial Practice (Spring 2023)

Instructor: Evelio M Grillo  
Instructor: Winifred Younge Smith  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only)
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 3
Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: In-Person


W 3:35 PM - 6:15 PM
Location: Law 140
From January 11, 2023
To April 19, 2023

Course Start: January 11, 2023
Course End: April 19, 2023
Class Number: 32552

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 16
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 16
As of: 08/24 11:03 PM

This course teaches the fundamentals of trial advocacy using a civil law case file. Students will learn the core skills of witness examination, opening/closing statements, introducing evidence, making evidentiary objections, jury selection, and trial preparation. The course will also cover trial strategy and ethical issues that may arise during trial.

This is a “learning by doing” class. Each week every student will perform an assigned trial skill exercise. Fellow students will act as witnesses and opposing counsel and there will be feedback by the instructors and classmates. There will be assigned reading each week. At every class, an instructor will provide a lecture to introduce the topic area of the following week's class and trial skill exercise. The course final will be a mock jury trial (May 6 and 7) during which students will argue motions in limine, make opening statements, examine and cross examine witnesses, introduce evidence, and make a closing argument to a jury selected from class members and volunteers.
The instructors for this class are Judge Evelio Grillo, and Judge Winifred Smith (Ret.)

Evelio Grillo is a Judge of the Alameda County Superior Court where he presently is assigned to the Complex Trial Department and presides over class action, mass tort, insurance coverage and other complex litigation. Prior to being assigned to the Complex Litigation Department, Judge Grillo was assigned to the Civil Law and Motion Department and the Civil Direct Calendar Departments. Over 40 of Judge Grillo’s trial court decisions have resulted in published appellate opinions in both the Court of Appeal, and the California Supreme Court. Judge Grillo received his undergraduate degree (BA --Political Science) and his masters degree (MPP --Public Policy) from the University of California at Berkeley, and his JD from Harvard Law School.

Judge Winifred Smith (Ret.) was appointed as a judge of the Alameda County Superior Court in 2000. During her tenure, Judge Smith was assigned to the Civil Law and Motion, Civil Direct Calendar and Complex Litigation Departments, where she served with distinction until her retirement in 2021. Judge Smith served as the Supervising Civil Judge and the Presiding Judge of the court and has tried over 100 cases to verdict, one of which – a products liability/complex litigation case—resulted in the largest civil jury verdict in California history. Alameda County Superior Court. Judge Smith received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her JD from Boston University School of Law.

Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

The prerequisites for this class are Law 241 -Evidence, and Law 200F -Civil Procedure.

Requirements Satisfaction:

Units from this class count towards the J.D. Experiential Requirement.

View teaching evaluations for this class - degree students only

Exam Notes: (T) Course ends in a final practice trial, arguments, or other presentation (e.g. Powerpoint)
Course Category: Simulation Courses

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