Shannon T. Murphy : Courses and Seminars
Federal Criminal Practice
Federal Criminal Practice aims to expand students’ knowledge of the scope and application of federal criminal law, and will challenge students to think and act as practicing prosecutors and defense attorneys. Because the class is taught by two senior associates at Winston & Strawn LLP who focus their practices on criminal law, including representation of individuals and companies in criminal matters and referrals to law enforcement agencies, the class seeks to prepare students to bridge the gap between law school and actual practice of federal criminal law. The class seeks to combine substantive content with practical considerations to help students start to think like a practitioner. The class includes lecture and discussion about significant topics in federal criminal law; guest speakers with prosecutorial, judicial, and private practice experience who will describe the application and implications of these topics; and practical exercises that will provide students with the opportunity to enhance their advocacy abilities both orally and in writing. The class will review four major areas of federal criminal law: (1) the role and scope of the federal criminal system; (2) federal narcotics prosecutions; (3) federal public corruption prosecutions including use of the mail fraud and honest services statutes; and (4) federal racketeering laws. Students will gain a working knowledge of relevant case law on these topics, and will also review and apply real cases prosecuted in federal courts in the Northern District of Illinois. Students will also hear from guest speakers on topics 2-4, who will also provide information about more general challenges and issues that they have observed or experienced in their own practices and will provide tips regarding the upcoming practical exercises, discussed below. To cover a spectrum of experiences, the speakers will be (1) a federal judge in the Northern District of Illinois who also served as an Assistant United States Attorney for many years; (2) a current Assistant United States Attorney who is early in his prosecutorial career; and (3) a former Assistant United States Attorney who now focuses his practice on criminal defense work at a law firm. This class is unique in that it will incorporate a practical component, namely: writing and arguing a motion to suppress evidence and a sentencing position; conducting an opening statement; and presenting a short closing argument. For all exercises students will be divided evenly between prosecutors and defense attorneys. Students will complete two written and three oral exercises which, together with class participation, will provide the basis for each student’s grade. Because of the practical component, the class size will be strictly limited to 12 students.
Shannon T. Murphy, Jared Hasten