Criminal Pretrial Advocacy

Criminal Pretrial Advocacy



Criminal Pretrial Advocacy serves as a resource for educators, students, and beginning trial attorneys by focusing on what criminal lawyers primarily do—prepare cases and settle them. In order to assist preparation, the text emphasizes strategy and ethics.

For educators, this text would be ideal for pretrial advocacy courses. For students, it can serve as an introduction and careful description of the process of trial preparation and settlement. Unlike casebooks, this text offers a clear and practical description of the logistics of trial preparation and tips for case settlement. For practitioners, it provides a foundation, or a basic guide, for introducing new attorneys to the pre-trial procedures they might otherwise be unfamiliar with. By reading and studying Criminal Pretrial Advocacy, advocates will be better prepared for trial and in a better position to prevail.
Throughout, we relate the foundations of criminal pretrial advocacy; we discuss filing charges, developing a persuasive case theory, and bail review strategies. You will learn how successful attorneys interview their clients and witnesses. We explain proper discovery procedure and draw on our courtroom experience to identify the methods needed to effectively litigate preliminary and grand jury hearings. A significant portion of the text is devoted to the mechanics of preparing and presenting motions. Criminal Pretrial Advocacy will also provide strategies for arriving at successful case settlements. When you are finished, you will possess the tools to prepare confidently and successfully for criminal trials.
Criminal Pretrial Advocacy will be most effective when used in conjunction with our mock trial companion book, Criminal Mock Trials. The companion book presents a comprehensive set of interesting case files with a variety of pretrial and trial issues for students to explore. Together the companion book and this text present a series of criminal practice cases, hypothetical cases, checklists, and notes on ethical considerations. Both texts present stimulating pretrial advocacy and ethical issues to facilitate provocative discourse.

Because an advocate’s success in criminal law stems from the meticulous planning that takes place during the pretrial stages, attorneys must prepare thoroughly. Criminal Pretrial Advocacy and Criminal Mock Trials will provide you with the tools needed to achieve this goal.

Terry Adamson has taught trial advocacy and pretrial advocacy classes at Pepperdine University School of Law for eighteen years and is one of the trial team coaches for Pepperdine’s nationally acclaimed trial advocacy program. She is also a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, and has prosecuted a wide range of cases. She was the co-prosecutor for the high-profile, thirteen month long jury trial known as the “Chinatown” case, in which one of the multiple murder victims was a police officer. Professor Adamson was a Malibu Superior Court Commissioner for eighteen years, presiding over every aspect of felony and misdemeanor cases. She is currently the Distinguished Jurist in Residence at Pepperdine University School of Law. Professor Adamson is a recipient of the David McKibbin Outstanding Teaching Award.

H. Mitchell Caldwell teaches Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure as well as trial advocacy courses and serves as advisor of the law school’s highly successful interschool trial teams. Before joining the Pepperdine faculty, he was a trial prosecutor in Santa Barbara and Riverside Counties.

Professor Caldwell routinely represents condemned prisoners in the appeals of their death sentences before both the California Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has written extensively in the area of criminal procedure, trial advocacy, and the death penalty and is the co-author of Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury (1998), And the Walls Came Tumbling Down (2004) and The Devil’s Advocates (Fall 2006). This popular series of books celebrates significant jury trials and the lawyers who tried the cases. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury was selected by the Los Angeles Times as a best non-fiction selection. Caldwell also co-authored The Art and Science of Trial Advocacy for use at the law school level.

Professor Caldwell has received several teaching awards including the Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award and was the recipient of the Richard Jacobson Award as the nation’s premier trial advocacy teacher in 2000.

(Publisher's Website)



Publication Date



Vandeplas Publishing


Lake Mary, FL


Advocate, jury instructions, defense, prosecution, jury, closing argument, opening statement


Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Law

Criminal Pretrial Advocacy