Basic Criminal Procedure
Daniel W. Edwards
Professor Edwards has taught at the College of Law since 1988. During that time he has taught courses in Evidence, Evidence Practicum, Basic Criminal Procedure, Advanced Criminal Procedure, Trial Practice, Advanced Trial Practice, Voir Dire, and Appellate Writing and Oral Argument. He also coached the Appellate Advocacy teams from 1991-1999. He teaches exclusively on Saturdays.
As a practicing attorney, Professor Edwards has distinguished himself both as a criminal defense attorney and as a prosecutor. He began his career with the Colorado State Public Defenders in 1977. He held supervisory positions as Head of County Court in Denver, Senior Attorney in Arapahoe County and Pueblo, and Office Head in Adams County. In 1985 he was named Colorado State Public Defender of the Year. In 1989 he was nominated for the Jonathan Olom Award as outstanding criminal defense attorney in Colorado. After leaving the Public Defenders’ office, Professor Edwards was a Magistrate in Denver for five years. He was Chief Deputy District Attorney in the Grand County Office of the 14th Judicial District for three years. He is currently Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Homicide Assistance Team providing support for local district attorneys in complex murder cases.
We learn by listening to lectures, by watching demonstrations, by watching other students perform and by performing ourselves. Whether it is trial practice, advanced trial practice, evidence practicum, appellate writing and oral argument or voir dire, the strongest teaching device is learning by doing. While lectures and watching demonstrations provide a basis for students to build on, student performances are the key to student learning.
As a trial attorney, I have tried over 300 cases, including involvement in over 50 homicides. I became a lawyer in 1977 and by 1978 was Head of County Court responsible for teaching and supervising 8 attorneys in the Denver Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. Serving as Senior Attorney and Office Head as a public defender, I often taught formally and informally. I was honored to receive the Colorado State Public Defender of the Year award in 1985. I was a Magistrate in Denver from 1993 to 1997. In 2004, I switched sides and became a prosecutor, first as Chief Deputy District Attorney in the 14th Judicial District and then as Senior Assistant Attorney General on the Homicide Assistance Team. I was honored to receive the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Performance in 2010. I have taught many seminars to lawyers and investigators over the years: most recently I have given classes on motions practice, search and seizure, jury selection, and objections.
In 1988, I began teaching at the COL and have taught over 150 courses since then. I first taught trial practice, but was soon called upon to teach other courses beginning with advanced trial practice and appellate advocacy. Between 1991 and 1999, I coached the appellate advocacy teams and taught a course called “appellate writing and oral argument.” In 1996, I began teaching evidence and in 2003 incorporated learning-by-doing into the evidence practicum. Also in 2003, understanding the extreme importance of jury selection and realizing the limited time to teach it in trial practice and advanced trial practice, I began teaching voir dire.
It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to be involved in the development of litigators. I truly enjoy watching as students blossom into trial attorneys.