Practical Lawyering Skills
447: Federal Criminal Practice
Federal Criminal Practice is taught by an Assistant United States Attorney and a former Staff Attorney from the Federal Defender Program, now in private practice as a defense attorney, specializing in white collar criminal defense and internal investigations. This course will expand students' knowledge of the scope and application of federal criminal law, and will challenge students to think and act as practicing prosecutors and defense attorneys. This course will review five major areas of federal criminal law: (1) the role and scope of the federal criminal system; (2) federal narcotics prosecutions; (3) the use of informants in federal investigations and prosecutions; (4) federal public corruption prosecutions including the use of the mail fraud statute; and (5) federal racketeering laws. Students will gain a working knowledge of the relevant case law on these topics and will also review and apply real cases prosecuted in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois.
This course is unique in that it will incorporate a practical component into the last four of these subject areas. Students will write and argue various motions, including a motion to suppress, a motion to dismiss an indictment, and a sentencing memorandum relating to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Students will also conduct direct or cross examination of a cooperating witness and give a short closing argument. Students are expected to complete four written submissions and two oral exercises. These assignments, along with class participation and attendance, will determine the student's final grade. (Ellis)