The Denis F. McLaughlin Advanced Trial Advocacy Workshop
Endowed by the Law Firm of O'Toole Scrivo
The Denis F. McLaughlin Advanced Trial Advocacy Workshop is a special opportunity for students aspiring to begin their careers as trial lawyers
to further develop their trial skills in an intensive, “hands-on,” advanced advocacy
The McLaughlin Workshop breaks down the trial from start to finish and culminates with each student trying
a case before real judges in their courtrooms. The workshop is structured around a
set of simulated complex case files, with students working in pairs assigned to represent
one party in one case file. The curriculum is divided into modules. In each module
students practice a discrete trial skill, starting with the formulation of a theory
of the case, and moving on to jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross
examination of witnesses, and closing arguments. The McLaughlin Workshop builds on
the foundational skills students acquired in Persuasion and Advocacy and Evidence
to inculcate the specific skills and knowledge required to try a case: preparation,
examination and cross-examination of expert witnesses; evidentiary foundations; objections;
various types of impeachment; and development of visual aids for trial. The McLaughlin
Workshop culminates in students trying their cases in pairs, with other students in
the class acting as witnesses. These capstone trials will take place in federal or
state courthouses before actual judges.
The McLaughlin Workshop is held during the winter intersession. The workshop is three credits and graded
on a credit/fail basis as completion will signal rigorous work by all participants.
Each day includes either a lunch or dinner including a keynote address by a distinguished
trial lawyer or judge. The lunches/dinners provide an invaluable opportunity for
students to hear from and network with some of the most accomplished trial lawyers
and judges in the bench and bar.
The Workshop is taught and supervised by the founding director, Professor Denis McLaughlin,
together with associate director, Professor Jacob Elberg, and Professor Jamie Pukl-Werbel,
in addition to a select team of volunteer expert lawyers and judges. During the Workshop,
students will attend lectures and demonstrations on discrete trial skills presented
plenary style, followed by breakout sessions in smaller groups where the students
will perform under the direction of either one or two expert coaches. The Workshop
will culminate with students in pairs trying a full jury trial before a sitting federal
judge at the federal courthouse in Newark.
Completion of Evidence and Persuasion and Advocacy prior to the Winter Intersession
is a prerequisite for enrollment. Enrollment for the workshop is limited and interested
students are asked to submit to the Director a completed application during the fall
of their 2L/3L/4L year.
About O’Toole Scrivo, LLC
Founded by Seton Hall University Law School classmates, Kevin O’Toole and Thomas Scrivo,
O’Toole Scrivo is led by a team of attorneys who have practiced at the highest levels,
including former Chief Counsels to the Governor, Assistant United States Attorneys,
Assistant County Prosecutors and a host of subject matter experts. The firm is carefully
crafted with more than 50 attorneys focusing on high stakes matters. O’Toole Scrivo
provides clients with a unique blend of public sector insight and private sector expertise,
delivering innovative solutions.