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RWA Online's March workshop -- Swear to Tell the Truth with presen


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RWA ® ONLINE presents: Swear to Tell the Truth: How to Write Realistic Courtroom/legal Scenes presented by Jody Lebel

Workshop Registration is open through 3/3/14.

Registration cost is $15.00

RWA ® Online members get the workshop for free

Click here to register: http://www.rwaonlinechapter.org/campus.htm

Course Description:

At the end of this workshop the student will be able to write realistic courtroom scenes by learning the different roles of common courtroom personnel (such as the judge, district attorney, defense/public defender, court steno, bailiff, probation officer, and clerk), understanding what their jobs are and what they can and cannot do, and how a hearing or trial proceeds. Lessons 9 and 10 cover crime scene and law enforcement.
The audience for the workshop will be writers of any genre and any skill level who want to create clean courtroom scenes and/or understand the functions of the court.

The lessons - Week 1

Lesson 1 - Courtrooms . What is the “bar”? Who is allowed and who is not in a courtroom? Where does everyone sit? Closed courtrooms vs open courtrooms vs judge’s chambers. Dockets. Short writing homework.

Lesson 2 - Types of courts. Jury vs bench trial. Felony vs. misdemeanor. Civil/family/Juvenile/Probate. Short research homework.

Lesson 3 - The ‘Players’. Short dialogue homework.

Lesson 4 – Lingo. Short dialogue homework.

Lesson 5 – Writing legal scenes. Homework? None…have a good weekend.

The lessons - Week 2

Lesson 6- Trials Part 1. Short ‘find the error’ homework.

Lesson 7 – Trials – Part 2. Short scene writing homework.

Lesson 8 – Sentencing and mitigation. Short writing homework.

Lesson 9 – Crime Scene – Short homework.

Lesson 10– Depositions and EUOs. Let’s talk Cops. Wrap up and Goodbye!

About the Instructor

Following sixteen years as a travel agent (more travel than money) Jody Lebel switched gears, returned to school and became a court reporter (more money than travel). She swapped jetting off to fun and exotic locations for reporting the cases of murderers, rapists, and thieves who are, by the way, almost never in a good mood. Being assigned to the chief judge in Broward County exposed her to a wide spectrum of cases; from funny to tragic to bizarre to downright creepy. She has reported everything from a homeless guy who had jumped the turnstile on the Metrorail and was now in jail for not having a quarter, to the Tamiami Strangler, a serial killer who murdered six women.

I have participated as a panel member in multiple writing conferences on the subject of writing accurate courtroom, legal and police scenes. On my last panel the speakers consisted of a judge, an attorney and myself as the court reporter. I revamped this in-person session to form an on-line class which allows me to expand the lessons, and assist writers to construct solid, realistic legal/police scenes.

I am a criminal court stenographer by day, and have been working in the field since 1997 in both southern Florida and Massachusetts.


RWA ® Online is the first online chapter and our members take our workshops for free. To join our chapter, you only need to be a member of RWA ® and pay $25.

For more information, contact me at fisc40pa@aol.com

We look forward to seeing you in our workshops!

Patti Fischer

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