University of Miami School of Law Course Description - Online System
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Spring 2019

Course Description
How vigorously can a criminal defense attorney represent the interests of his client without "crossing the line?" When has a prosecutor become vindictive in his pursuit of a conviction? Is the judge just a referee who calls balls and strikes, or does the judge have a role in meting out justice? Studying actual cases and debating hypothetical scenarios, we will tackle the cutting edge issues that lawyers inevitably confront: the duty to disclose evidence favorable to the adversary, calling a witness the attorney does not believe, impeaching a witness the attorney knows is telling the truth, and getting paid, without getting indicted. In this advanced survey of the criminal process, we will reconcile the tension between tenacious advocacy and ethical (if not moral) constraints as we question the very premise of our justice system and the role of the attorney

Course Schedule
Dates Day Time Room
01-16-2019 - 04-23-2019   W  3:30 PM-5:20 PM E265

Course Frequency
This course is usually offered once every other year

Course Information

Credits: 2
Pass/Fail Option: Yes
Prerequisite: Criminal Procedure and Substantive Criminal Law
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: Take Home Exam and Class Participation
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Special Attributes: None
Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s):
Criminal Law - Basic
Litigation - Specialized
Bar Subject(s): None
Litigation & Dispute Resolution (Concentration)   More information
Course Book(s):
Textbook Required:
  • Textbook Name: Understanding Lawyer Ethics
    Textbook Type: Paperback
    Requirement: Required
    Author: Monroe Freedman, Abbe Smith
    Publisher: Carolina Academic Press
    Edition: 5th
    ISBN: 9781632845061
First Class Assignment(s):
  • Assignment: 1. The Adversarial System of Justice: What are the advantages and disadvantages of the adversarial system of justice? -Friedman and Smith, Understanding Lawyers Ethics, Chapters 2-4 -Calhoun v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 1136 (2013) (Sotomayor, J., respecting the denial of the petition for writ of certiorari) (“I write to dispel any doubt whether the Court's denial of certiorari should be understood to signal our tolerance of a federal prosecutor's racially charged remark. It should not.”). -Numerous red flags arose in months leading to Fort Lauderdale airport shooting, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 8, 2017. -Life After Death Row, CBS News 60 Minutes, Jan. 10, 2016, -Trial and Error: Report Says Prosecutors Rarely Pay Price for Mistakes and Misconduct, Apr. 2, 2016 -rarely-p -FBI Admits Flaws in Hair Analysis over Decades, Wash. Post, Apr. 18, 2015 -Report: Prosecutors Hid Evidence In Ted Stevens Case (; Judge overturns suspension of prosecutors in Ted Stevens case (Washington Post); Justice and Prosecutorial Misconduct (NY Times, page A22, Dec. 29, 2011); Federal Prosecutors Likely to Keep Jobs after Cases Collapse (USA Today, Dec. 8, 2010) -Charges Dropped in South Florida Cat Death Case (Associated Press, Nov. 24, 2010); Tyler Weinman, Accused ‘Cat Killer,’ Plans on Suing Miami-Dade Over Bungled Investigation (Riptide, Dec. 7, 2010).

    Textbook Type: Paperback Textbook Requirement:Required Textbook Name: Understanding Lawyer Ethics Textbook Publisher: Carolina Academic Press Textbook Author : Monroe Freedman, Abbe Smith Textbook Edition: 5th Textbook ISBN: 9781632845061

    Additional Information:
    Class syllabus is attached.

    Syllabus Spring 2019.pdf