Just returned from the Balkans. For four days – June 29-July 2, 2015, my co-instructor Margaret Bodman (a prosecutor from Columbia, South Carolina and an experienced trial advocacy teacher) and I (Ron Clark) conducted a train-the-trial-advocacy-trainers’ course in Prishtina, Kosovo. The course was held under the auspices of the Justice Department’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development and Training (OPDAT). Resident Legal Advisors Michelle Lakomy and Constantine Soupios were in charge of the program. We are all in the above group picture.
The overarching goal of the course was to spread the rule of law in Kosovo. During the course, the participants received lectures and saw demonstrations. Also, they learned by doing, delivering opening statements and closing arguments, conducting direct and cross-examinations and making a trial advocacy presentation. Further, they practiced critiquing, which they will use when they train others. The fact pattern that they used was the State v. Hard homicide case that is available with Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis and Strategy 4th Edition.
Our audience was composed of Kosovo judges, defense attorneys and prosecutors who will in turn be teaching trial advocacy concepts and skills to other lawyers and judges throughout Kosovo. One of the participants is pictured below receiving his certificate from Margaret and me at the conclusion of the course.
This was my second opportunity to teach for OPDAT in Kosovo, and, once again, it was an honor and pleasure to work with these receptive and wonderful lawyers and judges in one of the newest countries in the world as it recovers from its recent, war-torn past.