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Judge Don Bush: Trial advocacy

October 9-16, 2019

Course outline

The Course covers four lecture and practical exercise periods. The first lecture covers a brief overview of the Federal system and how jurisdiction is separate but also concurrent with the State system. After the brief introduction the Course focuses on the actual trial process in an American Court. The Course will examine general topics such as witness preparation and trial strategy. Voir Dire is the first practical topic covered. It is the practice of selecting a jury. A book will be provided to give each student an insight into the covered material. A sample problem will be provided and students may be called upon to conduct a voir dire as to that problem. Following the voir dire the class will focus on the opening statement in a case. Again using a sample problem one or more students will have the opportunity to conduct a 5 minute opening.

The second lecture focuses on Common objections to the form of Questions, Hearsay Evidence and the exceptions to admissibility as well as exhibit introduction. In the booklet are a number of photographs where students will have an opportunity to practice admitting exhibits into evidence.

The third lecture focuses on Direct and Cross Examination of a Witness. We will also cover Impeachment. Students will have an opportunity to conduct a brief direct or cross of a witness from the materials provided.

The fourth lecture focuses on the use of closing argument in a trial. After covering the closing , students will have an opportunity to do a direct and cross with introduction of exhibits in the Problems 1-3 found in the back of your materials. Although the practical exercises are not graded those students who do well may receive extra credit for the final examination.

Course schedule:
October 9, Wednesday: 10,00-13,00 (Room B302)
October 10, Thursday: 12,00-15,00 (Room B302)
October 16, Wednesday: 10,00-13,00 (Room B302)



Judge Bush is currently serving on recall as an United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of New York. Although his duty station is in New York, he lives in Dallas,Texas. Judge Bush served as an United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Texas from 2003 to 2016. Prior to his appointment to the bench he was the managing partner of Bush, Craddock and Reneker a litigation boutique firm in Dallas. Judge Bush received his B.A. from Indiana University and his J.D. and LLM from Southern Methodist University.

While in active practice he was board certified in Civil Trial Law. He tried approximately 100 jury cases while practicing law. In his last ten years on the bench Judge Bush was also an Adjunct Professor of Trial Law at Southern Methodist University. Judge Bush has also authored several law journal articles and other professional publications in the Southwestern Law Review, Baylor Law Review, St. Mary's Law Review and the Texas Bar Journal.

Judge Bush served in the United States Army and was a rated linguist in French and Korean and on discharge had obtained the rank of Captain. Judge Bush is also the only active Federal Judge currently serving who is also a licensed paramedic and is licensed by the state of Texas and the National Registry of Emergency Technicians. He volunteers two mornings a week in a church sponsored medical urgent care clinic which provides free medical services to all members of the community . In the past two years he has served as a medic on mission teams in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.


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