Introduction to Trial Advocacy

Start Time/Date: 9:00 AM Tuesday, October 1, 2019
End Time/Date: 1:00 PM Thursday, October 3, 2019
ADDRESS: Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel
215 Innovation Boulevard
CITY: State College, PA 16803

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This course is only open to members of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association Please use the email address that is registered with PDAA in order be able to register online. Questions? Call Tamara Heagy at 717-238-5416.
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Introduction to Trial Advocacy


Course Information

The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute is pleased to offer its Introduction to Trial Advocacy course. This intensive, three-day course focuses on the prosecution theory of a case and the process of communicating that theory to jurors. This involves developing a theme and using it throughout the trial to help guide jurors. The course concentrates on each component of the trial from opening statement through closing argument.

The course emphasizes the importance of communication theory including the use of visual communication and an easily understood prosecution theory. The teaching method includes performance workshops with video and live critiques as well as demonstration and lecture format. The ideal student should have some experience with courtroom advocacy, but the course is designed for prosecutors with less than two or three years of experience.

Case Scenario 

A specific case scenario has been developed for this course by PDAI’s Education and Training Committee. Approximately one month prior to the start date of the course, the case scenario, along with the registrants’ attendee confirmation and revised schedule, will be mailed to all eligible course participants. Attendees should review the case scenario prior to the course and be familiar with the facts of the case. Participants will be expected to give an opening statement, conduct direct and cross examinations, as well as a closing argument, based on the facts of the scenario. Attendees will receive two critiques: a live critique and a critique of their videotaped presentation by two separate course faculty members. 


Class size is limited to the first 25 qualified registrants! This course is limited to active prosecutors in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To ensure a fair representation among counties, attendance will be limited to no more than three prosecutors from each county.

Registration closes on Friday, August 23, 2019. To register online submit your email address above. You can also download the brochure or printer friendly form and mail, fax or email it to:

Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute
2929 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Fax: 717-231-3912


A block of rooms has been reserved at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel at the rate of $102.00 per night, single or double occupancy plus state and local taxes. The room rate is a separate charge paid directly to the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel. It is not included in the registration fee. You may make your reservations by calling the Penn Stater directly at 1-800-233-7505 by August 23, 2019. Reference Reservation Identification Number: PDAI19A to receive the group rate.

Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel
215 Innovation Boulevard
State College, PA 1680


Cancellations received on or before Friday, September 6, 2019 will be refunded the full registration fee. No refunds can be issued for cancellations received after September 6, 2019; however, substitutions are permissible. You must also call the hotel directly at 1-800-233-7505 to cancel your room reservation.


A continental breakfast, full buffet lunch and breaks will be offered each day of the course. Each attendee is responsible for his or her own dinner plans and any incidental expenses.

Attendance & Dress 

It is essential that participants attend all training sessions. Dress for the general lectures is casual. Courtroom attire is required for the trial advocacy workshops.


This course is worth 1 ethics and 14 substantive CLE credits.