The goal of the Bryan R. Shechmeister Death Penalty College is to educate and train lawyers who are representing individuals charged with capital murder. Lawyers are trained to effectively investigate and prepare their capital cases and to develop effective strategies for settling their cases. Lawyers are trained to conduct jury selection, to investigate and counter aggravating evidence, to uncover and present mitigating evidence, to use and examine expert witnesses and to conduct an opening statement and closing penalty phase argument.

Participants and faculty sign a Confidentiality Oath securing the privileged nature of the communications during the College. The College provides MCLE credits.

1. Program Schedule

The Program consists of lectures, discussions, workshops, and demonstrations. Student participation is expected during the discussion and workshop sessions.

2. Workshops

The small group workshops include sessions on jury selection, opening statement, examination of expert witnesses and final argument. Participants must prepare and participate in the workshops. During these sessions, each participant performs an exercise using the facts from their pending death penalty case. Each workshop allows the participants to present, to receive feedback, and to discuss case issues pertaining to the workshop topic.

Each workshop group includes 6-8 participating lawyers and mitigation specialists and usually two members of the faculty. The members of the faculty rotate amongst the groups during the week allowing the participants to see and hear different styles, approaches and perspectives from experienced lawyers concerning their case. The participants and faculty provide comments and critique the presentations. The participants stay in the same group all week. The participants become familiar with the facts of the cases in the group. This process enhances the ability of the participants to provide positive feedback to fellow participants.

3. Real Case Method

Participants work from the facts of their pending death penalty case. The Program offers the participants the opportunity to work through the difficult aspects of the case and to receive input from the faculty and fellow participants in solving case problems.

4. Materials

Each participant will receive a binder of materials related to capital trial litigation and the sessions at the College. Additional materials will be provided on a thumb drive, including law review articles, motions, transcripts and other materials regarding the preparation of a capital case. The binder and thumb drive will be provided on the first day of class.

Lawyers are strongly urged to purchase the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and California Public Defenders Association Death Penalty Manual (available for purchase online at (www.cacj.org). This comprehensive Manual is by far the single greatest resource available for lawyers litigating a capital case. Although the Manual focuses on California law, the subjects apply to all jurisdictions. The Manual includes a discussion and analysis of the basic issues raised in death penalty cases and sample death penalty motions on a large variety of topics.

5. Accommodations

The Program tuition includes a single dorm room in a small suite. Each suite has four single bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a sitting area. The conditions and amenities are basic.

The dorms are wireless. Participants will be provided a log-in ID number when they check in. Personal computers must have anti-virus software installed in order to access the Santa Clara University network. The specific requirements needed to log in are listed on the web site. Someone from Information Technology will be available at check-in to help with the log-in process. Participants also have access to the law library and a technology room (with computers) in the dorm.

Dorm rooms are provided from Saturday night through Wednesday night. If you need to arrive on Friday night or stay over on Thursday night, let us know so that we may reserve the room. There will be an additional fee charged for each night you stay.
Breakfast is available each morning. Participants and faculty lunch together on campus. Dinner is provided at one of the campus facilities. Participants will be on their own for dinner on Sunday and Tuesday nights.

A swimming pool and gym facilities are available for those who are staying in the dorm. If participants want to use the fitness facilities, they must fill out, sign and email or mail the liability form to us prior to the start of the College.

6. Dress and Weather

The dress for the Program is casual. The weather is likely to be very warm. The classrooms are generally cold (air conditioned). The evenings are always cool.

7. In Case of Emergency

If there is an emergency on campus, you can contact the University Public Safety Office at 408-554-4444. This is an equivalent of a campus 9-1-1 call.

8. Transportation

San Jose International (SJO) Airport is 10 minutes from the Law School. A #10 bus runs from the airport to the campus. The ride is free. Directions from SJI to SCU are posted here. (Click here to link to Mapquest directions)

Driving Directions from San Jose Airport:

  1. Start out going NORTHEAST on AIRPORT PKWY toward TECHNOLOGY DR. (0.45 miles)
  2. Turn RIGHT onto OLD BAYSHORE HWY. (0.48 miles)
  3. Merge onto US-101 S toward LOS ANGELES. (0.46 miles)
  4. Merge onto I-880 S toward LOS GATOS/SANTA CRUZ. (1.89 miles)
  5. Take the CA-82/THE ALAMEDA exit toward SANTA CLARA. (0.22 miles)
  6. Take the CA-82 N ramp toward SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. (0.04 miles)
  7. Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto THE ALAMEDA/CA-82. Continue to follow CA-82. (0.99 miles)
  8. End at 500 El Camino Real Santa Clara, CA 95053-0001 US

Estimated Time: 8 minutes
Distance: 4.52 miles

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is an hour drive from the Law School. Participants can get to the Campus from SFO by Caltrain. (www.caltrain.org). Directions from SFO to SCU are posted here. (Click here to link to Mapquest directions)

Driving Directions from San Francisco Airport:

  1. Start out going EAST toward S LINK RD. (0.11 miles)
  2. Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto S LINK RD. (0.18 miles)
  3. Turn SHARP RIGHT onto N MCDONNELL RD. (0.16 miles)
  4. Stay STRAIGHT to go onto ROAD 18. (0.30 miles)
  5. Merge onto US-101 S toward SAN JOSE. (31.10 miles)
  6. Merge onto DE LA CRUZ BLVD toward SANTA CLARA. (1.79 miles)
  7. DE LA CRUZ BLVD becomes LEWIS ST. (0.07 miles)
  8. Turn RIGHT onto LAFAYETTE ST. (0.07 miles)
  9. Turn RIGHT onto EL CAMINO REAL/CA-82. (0.59 miles)
  10. End at 500 El Camino Real Santa Clara, CA 95053-0001 US

Estimated Time: 38 minutes
Distance: 34.36 miles

Oakland International Airport (OAK) is an hour drive from the Law School. It is difficult to travel from Oakland Airport to the Campus via public transportation. A shuttle is available. (http://www.flyoakland.com/shuttles.shtml). Directions from Oakland Airport to SCU are posted here. (Click here to link to Mapquest directions)

Driving Directions from Oakland Airport:

  1. Start out going SOUTHWEST on AIRPORT DR toward ALAN SHEPARD WAY. (0.22 miles)
  2. Turn RIGHT onto ALAN SHEPARD WAY. (0.05 miles)
  3. Turn RIGHT onto JOHN GLENN DR. (0.34 miles)
  4. Turn LEFT onto AIRPORT DR. (0.73 miles)
  5. Stay STRAIGHT to go onto 98TH AVE. (0.90 miles)
  6. Merge onto I-880 S toward SAN JOSE. (32.78 miles)
  7. Take the CA-82/THE ALAMEDA exit toward SANTA CLARA. (0.22 miles)
  8. Take the CA-82 N ramp toward SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. (0.04 miles)
  9. Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto THE ALAMEDA/CA-82. Continue to follow CA-82. (0.99 miles)
  10. End at 500 El Camino Real Santa Clara, CA 95053-0001 US

Estimated Time: 40 minutes
Distance: 36.26 miles

NOTE: If you take either the #10 bus or Caltrain, SCU is located directly across the street from the bus stop and Caltrain station (about a 5 minute walk to campus). See map Santa Clara Transit Center and Caltrain station.