Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques


The Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques provides all second-year students with a foundation in oral advocacy.

The Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques is characterized by its teaching methodology, which seeks to integrate the second-year law student's existing knowledge of substantive evidence with the introduction of practical trial skills through a "learn-by-doing" format. The workshops are conducted under this methodology with the following pedagogical goals:

  1. Integrate case analysis and relevance to provide improved understanding of each and their critical relationship to one another.
  2. Teach hearsay and character evidence concepts in the context of direct and cross examination.
  3. Provide practice at evidentiary foundations, authenticating exhibits and making and refuting objections to better understand the Federal Rules of Evidence on original writings, authentication, relevance, hearsay and to help bring about better chain of custody foundations.
  4. Develop greater sensitivity for the understanding of audience and the relationship to the development of theories and themes through jury voire doire exercises.
  5. Strengthen the art of persuasiveness in the presentation of evidence through exercises that familiarize and build confidence in the use of technology to display exhibits.
  6. Develop strategic insight and best alternative settlement analytical skills in negotiation simulations; and
  7. Enhance emotional command and problem solving skills in tense adversarial situations through mock mediation exercises.

During the spring semester the entire second-year class attends Friday afternoon preparatory workshops field placement sections located at downtown Atlanta law firms and public law offices.

As a result of the barís participation, students have the opportunity to work closely with experienced trial lawyers in groups as small as six to eight students per trial instructor.

During the May session, Emory Law hosts more than 60 nationally known trial lawyers, judges and trial teachers who bring their different styles and regional perspectives to aid in the studentsí growth and development as advocates. These trial lawyers are joined by another 20 trial lawyers from the Atlanta metro area. These 80 trial instructors allow us to maintain an 8 to 1 student/trial instructor ratio. The May session involves seven days of intensive workshops on trial techniques, during which each student will try a bench and jury trial.

To alleviate any conflicts that may arise, the ABA allows you to miss 2 classes (4 hours) in any two-hour course, unexcused. As a result you will be allowed to miss either one Friday afternoon workshop, or one half day of the intensive May session.  You must submit a written notice (an email will suffice) for any anticipated absence to your team leader and the KEPTT Administrative Director.  You will not be allowed to miss either of the trial days, as you must serve on those days either as trial counsel, or as a witness.  All requests for an excused absence must be personally delivered in writing to the KEPTT Administrative Director prior to April 12, 2013. 

The May session of the KEPTT program is a unique learning experience. In May we add to the Atlanta faculty by hosting over 60 nationally known trial lawyers, judges, and trial teachers to bring their different styles and regional perspectives to your growth and development as an advocate. We have a loyal group of excellent litigator/teachers who really enjoy teaching and who make the program fun. We work hard, learn a lot, and have a great time. 

For more information, contact:

Judge Lindsay Jones, KEPTT Administrative Director (404.727.6814)

Paul J. Zwier, Professor of Law and Director, KEPTT (404.712.2358)

Email:  trials(at)law.emory.edu