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Modern Day Trial Advocacy

(278 reviews)

Produced on June 25, 2017

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Course Information

Time 1h 15m
Difficulty Beginner
Topics covered in this course: Litigation

Course Description

This course will provide an overview of the modern day courtroom trial.  It will focus on the major aspects of the criminal trial process, with much of the discussion applying to both criminal and civil trials. The topics will include jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross-examinations, objections, closing arguments, jury instructions and deliberations, verdicts, and motions.

The program will be presented by Alan Vinegrad, a partner at Covington & Burling LLP and a former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Mr. Vinegrad has tried over 20 cases in court, has taught trial advocacy at New York Law School for over 20 years, and has presided over numerous mock trials at various law schools in New York City. 

Learning Objectives: 
  1. Understand the fundamental aspects of the trial process, with a focus on criminal trials
  2. Identify key differences between trying criminal cases in state and federal courts
  3. Discuss the use of technology in the courtroom and how to incorporate technology into effective trial advocacy

This course originally appeared as a part of our June 2017 Bridge the Gap Event.

Credit Information

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Alan Vinegrad

Covington & Burling LLP

Alan Vinegrad is a partner in the firm's New York office and a member of the firm's White Collar Defense and Trial Practice Groups. His practice focuses on representing individuals, corporations and corporate board committees in a wide variety of criminal and regulatory enforcement matters, as well as in complex civil litigation. He has represented numerous clients in connection with investigations and prosecutions by the U.S. Department of Justice, various U.S. Attorney’s Offices around the country, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York State Attorney General, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Vinegrad joined the firm after serving as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. He previously served as the office's Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chief of the Criminal Division, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, Chief of Civil Rights Litigation and Chief of General Crimes. In addition to his executive and supervisory responsibilities, Mr. Vinegrad investigated and prosecuted numerous criminal cases, personally tried over a dozen cases, and argued over 20 cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. 

Representative Matters

  • Adelphia Communications Corporation in defense of the federal criminal investigation, SEC enforcement action and threatened forfeiture actions arising out of wrongdoing by members of the Rigas family.
  • A senior executive of a large reinsurance company in defense of a federal criminal prosecution, SEC enforcement action and civil action arising out of alleged $500 million accounting fraud by American International Group, Inc.
  • Several publicly-held corporations and senior executives in connection with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC.
  • A senior executive of a large publicly-held energy company in defense of a criminal prosecution by the Government of Ecuador and related civil proceedings.
  • Several major investment banking firms in connection with various criminal, SEC, state and New York Stock Exchange investigations into suspected insider trading, accounting fraud, and other federal violations.


  • Selected by Chambers USA as a leading attorney in the areas of white collar crime and government investigations (2007-2015).
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America in the areas of bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, and white collar criminal defense (2010-2016).
  • New York Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White Collar and Business Litigation (2006-2013)
  • Who's Who Legal, Business Crime Defence (2015)
  • Legal 500 US, Litigation - White Collar Criminal Defense (2012-2013)
  • Selected by Law360 as White Collar MVP (2011).
  • Selected as a "Top Gun" by Ethisphere Magazine (2009).
  • The International Who's Who of Business Crime Lawyers (2008)
  • 2005 Milton S. Gould Award for Outstanding Oral Advocacy from the New York City Office of the Appellate Defender.
  • United States Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service in 1997 for the prosecution of the men responsible for the death of Yankel Rosenbaum during the Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Henry L. Stimson Medal from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York in 1993 for being the outstanding prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office.


Barbara S.

Good practical insights, tools, such as always starting cross with non-confrontational questions to elicit helpful testimony before going into areas that witness would feel defensive about. That would also work in situations outside courtroom settings. Those are the kinds of tips that add a lot of value to these courses.

Daniel H.

Too general an overview not enough concrete examples of using technologies

Elizabeth A.

Very strong presentation.

Gregory N.

fine presentation

Charis M.

Contains some neat ideas.

Geoffrey P.


Christopher M.

Excellent presentation

Lee H.

Mr. Vinegrad was excellent in laying out the entire trial--step by step --with a lot of good examples and suggestions!! And he never skipped a beat--very persuasive presentation!! Obviously an excellent course to watch when a trial is right around the corner!!

Cynthia Coulter M.

Great suggestions for technology management at trial.

Harold L.

Good presentation.

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