Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2021


WVU College of Law


WVU College of Law


In an effort to provide scholarship immediately useful to the criminal trial advocate, this article proposes a detailed systems workflow to plan and coordinate preparing for federal criminal trials called the Trial Preparation Procedures–Criminal (or "TrialPrepPro–Criminal" for short). The TrialPrepPro–Criminal upon the Trial Preparation Procedures-Civil, expounded in an earlier article.

Although there is an abundance of anecdotal "learning from doing" trial preparation guidance, empirically testable "learning about doing" trial preparation guidance is rare. We present our TrialPrepPro to learn more about doing.

The TrialPrepPro are modeled after the battle-proven military decision-making process used, with modifications, by all U.S. military services, our NATO allies, and many other foreign militaries. Although there is ample anecdotal or episodic published trial preparation guidance, to the best of our knowledge, the TrialPrepPro are the first attempt to provide a comprehensive, ready-out-of-the-box trial preparation framework.

In light of the U.S. legal profession's established lack of management training, the TrialPrepPro help a busy prosecutor or defense office coordinate the arduous trial preparation process. Moreover, the TrialPrepPro establish a thoughtful minimum shared professional standard. The TrialPrepPro are meant to be shared, customized, and, above all, used in actual practice. Accordingly, we encourage practitioners to download a free editable copy of the TrialPrepPro from our website ( We only ask that downloaders complete a short survey and share any modifications.

Original Publication Title

Rutgers University Law Review

Source Citation

Will Rhee & L. Richard Walker, The Trial Preparation Procedures–Criminal, 74 Rutgers U.L. Rev. 271 (2021).


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