Rutgers Law Trial Advocacy Program Director J.C. Lore was selected to train prosecutors, judges, and other lawyers who handle wildlife crimes like poaching and wildlife trafficking in Kenya last month. Supported by the Department of State, Lawyers Without Borders, and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), the program was held from Sunday, October 16, to Friday, October 21.
Prior to the program in Africa, Lore led the training of the international faculty involved in the effort. During the five-day program, Lore delivered various lectures and provided demonstrations for judges and lawyers including, “Analyzing a Case; Opening Statement," “Witness Preparation and Testifying in Court," “Impeachment and Redirect Examination Presentation," and “Closing Arguments.” The Rutgers Law Clinical Professor also provided instruction and feedback to the participants as they performed these different skills in smaller groups. Training on charging wildlife crimes, setting appropriate bail, judicial opinion writing, and forensic evidence was also provided.
According to Lore, who teaches the courses Evidence and Trial Advocacy in Camden, just a few years ago, prosecutors of wildlife trafficking crimes had less than a 4% conviction rate; now the conviction rate is over 80%.
“The impact of wildlife trafficking crimes in Kenya has global impact through the complicated and intricate criminal activities and networks that spans continents,” says Lore, who co-founded the Children's Justice Clinic. “It was an honor to be selected as part of this distinguished group doing such important work in Africa and the world. The legal system in Kenya shares many similarities to the United States, but also many differences that required me to adjust my advocacy teaching. For example, there is not stenographic or audio recording of the proceedings. The entire court record is created by the judge taking handwritten notes. Also, there is no right to counsel except where a defendant is facing life imprisonment.”
Lore noted that the Kenyan lawyers and judges were warm, welcoming, and receptive.
“I met a tremendous group of lawyers and judges who were committed to the betterment of the Kenyan legal system, and who demonstrated a deep passion and love of Kenya,” says Lore, who thas trained thousands of attorneys and law students throughout the country. “It was one of the best teaching experiences of my entire career.”
Lore is the co-author of the latest edition of the widely distributed textbook Modern Trial Advocacy: Analysis and Practice, published by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. Translated in multiple languages and distributed to nearly 100 law schools across the nation, Modern Trial Advocacy articulates how both opening statements and final arguments should be conveyed in a story format, then details why it’s the most effective way to communicate with the judge and jury.