The print version of the Sixth Edition of the Trial Manual for the Defense of Criminal Cases is now available. Visit the ALI CLE website to place an order for the printed volumes. Public defenders may request a free electronic copy of the Trial Manual. Please email communications@ali.org to request the free PDF Volumes. The book is now divided into two volumes:

Volume One opens with a general sketch of criminal procedure and an outline of the first things to think about and do in the four common situations in which a defense attorney enters a criminal proceeding. The Volume then proceeds chronologically to cover pretrial proceedings, including bail and other forms of pretrial release; the initial client interview; dealings with police and prosecutors; defense investigation; preliminary hearing; grand jury practice; challenges to indictments and informations; pleas and plea bargaining; diversion; and the wide array of motions that should be considered in any criminal case. Because of the importance of federal (and often state) constitutional law in pretrial motions practice, the chapters on suppression motions and other pretrial motions contain substantial doctrinal analysis presented in a form that permits it to be easily converted into defense briefing.

Volume Two deals with the immediate run-up to trial, the trial itself, sentencing proceedings, and other trial-court proceedings after a guilty verdict or finding. The Volume begins with discussions of the timing of pretrial and trial proceedings; interlocutory review of pretrial rulings; and the concrete steps that counsel will need to take to prepare for trial. The Volume then addresses all aspects of the trial, including the decision to elect or waive jury trial; jury selection procedures and challenges before and at trial; evidentiary issues and objections; techniques and tactics for handling prosecution and defense witnesses; trial motions; opening and closing arguments; requests for jury instructions and objections to them; and jury deliberation. Issues, procedures, and strategies unique to bench trials are discussed in tandem with the parallel aspects of jury-trial practice. The Volume covers posttrial motions and sentencing, and concludes with a short summary of appellate and postconviction procedures and a précis of the first steps to be taken in connection with them.

The Trial Manual, authored by Anthony G. Amsterdam and Randy Hertz and published by The American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education (ALI CLE), is an update of their widely used how-to guide for handling criminal court cases. The Manual, last published in 1988, was a joint project of the American College of Trial Lawyers, National Defender Project of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and ALI-ABA Committee on Continuing Professional Education.

From the authors:

The primary goal of the manual has always been – and continues to be – to serve as a resource for criminal defense lawyers at the trial level. It covers the information a defense attorney has to know, and the strategic factors s/he should consider, at each of the stages of the criminal trial process. It is organized for easy access by practitioners who need ideas and information quickly in order to jump-start their work at any given stage.

Read the feature article on the Trial Manual from the latest edition of The ALI Reporter.

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