Criminal Pretrial Advocacy fills a critical gap in the skills training for law students by providing a complete course addressing the pretrial phase of a federal criminal prosecution along with plea negotiation and sentencing. It contains materials to follow cases through all the important steps in a criminal prosecution from the decision to file charges to challenges to the investigative tactics and evidence to plea bargaining. The casebook describes the pretrial process in a federal criminal case by incorporating both a discussion of the rules and procedures in each phase as well as the basic constitutional doctrines related to criminal prosecutions that can arise. This book gives students the substantive foundation to proceed through a Criminal Pretrial Advocacy course by providing a foundation for understanding how each phase of the process unfolds. The casebook, in conjunction with the case files described below, are designed to help students improve their advocacy skills by giving them the opportunity to engage in both writing exercises and court appearances.

The casebook and Teacher’s Manual are accompanied by four case files designed to provide students with the opportunity to work with the materials as a prosecutor and defense counsel during the semester. The cases involve arson, drug distribution, mortgage fraud, and sex trafficking. They incorporate a set of agent reports that give the basic factual scenario along with related documents, such as a criminal history of the defendants and interview notes, that can be provided to the students at different points in the semester. An electronic version of the case files is available to instructors here, and samples of the types of documents in each case file can be found in the Teacher’s Manual.

The Teacher’s Manual provides the instructor with detailed information about how to structure a Criminal Pretrial Advocacy course and the various issues that will arise as the students progress through the process. It also contains sample rubrics, schedules, and bench memos detailing the legal issues that are likely to be raised in the four case files that can be used in conjunction with the casebook.

Imprint: West Academic Publishing
Series: Coursebook
Publication Date: 03/27/2019
Related Subject(s): Criminal Law

Peter J. Henning, Wayne State University Law School

Leonid Feller, Northwestern University School of Law

Karen McDonald Henning, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law


This title is available in our CasebookPlus format. CasebookPlus provides support beyond your classroom lectures and materials by offering additional digital resources to you and your students. Anchored by faculty-authored formative self-assessments keyed to our most popular casebooks, CasebookPlus allows students to test their understanding of core concepts as they are learning them in class – on their own, outside of the classroom, with no extra work on your part. CasebookPlus combines three important elements:

  • A new print or digital casebook
  • Access to a downloadable eBook with the ability to highlight and add notes
  • 12-month access to a digital Learning Library complete with:
Multiple-choice self-assessment questions, including:
  • Chapter questions keyed to the casebook
  • Black Letter Law questions (available in select subjects)
  • Subject area review questions for end of semester use
Essay and short answer questions with sample answers and expert commentary, in 1L and select upper-level subjects

Leading digital study aids, an outline starter, and audio lectures in select subjects

Students can still utilize CasebookPlus digital resources if they’ve purchased a used book or are renting their text by purchasing the Learning Library at

With CasebookPlus, you can customize your students’ learning experience and monitor their performance. The quiz editor allows you to create your own custom quiz set, suppress specific quiz questions or quiz sets, and time-release quiz questions. Additionally, the flexible, customized reporting capability helps you evaluate your students’ understanding of the material and can also help your school demonstrate compliance with the new ABA Assessment and Learning Outcomes standards.

The case files have been updated to include the latest developments in the law, and a fourth case has been added to allow instructors to rotate different case files or to use all four case files within one course when teaching a larger class. The Teacher’s Manual has been edited to reflect these changes to the case file. Finally, the book has also been updated to include the latest developments in the law.

Learn more about this series.