John Mitchell

John Mitchell

Professor Emeritus

 Sullivan Hall 430


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  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Forensics


  • B.A., University of Wisconsin/Madison, 1967
  • J.D., Stanford Law School, 1970; Stanford Law Review editor


Raised in the Midwest, Professor Mitchell moved to the West Coast to attend Stanford Law School, where he was a member of the Moot Court Board and Editor of the Law Review. He earned his J.D. at Stanford in 1970.

Professor Mitchell's wide ranging career has included: private practice in his own law firm in San Francisco, where he specialized in criminal litigation (1970-75); consultant to public and private defense attorneys concerning trial, motions and appellate strategies (1973-1982); and director of legal training for the Seattle office of Perkins Coie where, while away from the law school, he developed a two-year training curriculum for new associates in business and litigation (1988-90). Professor Mitchell authored Assisted Suicide - Nine Issues to Consider (U. Michigan Press, 2007). He is also co-author (with Professor Marilyn Berger and Practitioner in Residence Ronald Clark) of four advocacy textbooks published by Wolters Kluwer - Trial Advocacy: Planning Analysis, and Strategy (3rd. ed., 2011); Pretrial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy (3rd ed., 2010); Trial Advocacy: Assignments and Casefiles (2nd ed., 2011); Evidence: Skills, Strategies, and Assignments For Pretrial and Trial (2011) - and co-author (with Rick Barron) of Evidence: Lexis/Nexis Skills and Values (2009).. He and his co-authors are currently creating a revised, updated version of both books. He also has written extensively for professional journals on such topics as professional responsibility, learning and educational theory, training of lawyers, constitutional law, legal process, and criminal procedure.

Over the past two decades, Professor Mitchell has taught courses in Evidence, Evidence Lab, Advanced Evidence, Forensics, Criminal Procedure and Advocacy. He was also a member of the Law Practice Clinic for six years, the last two as Director.



  • Can the Professor Come Out and Play?  Scholarship, Teaching, and Theories of Play, Journal of Legal Education Vol. 5804 (2009) (with Bryan Adamson, Marilyn Berger, Lisa Brodoff, Anne Enquist, and Paula Lustbader).
  • Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis and Strategy
  • Pretrial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis and Strategy (2d ed., Aspen 2007) (with Marilyn J. Berger, Ronald H. Clark, and Monique Leahy).
  • Understanding Assisted Suicide — Nine Issues to Consider (University of Michigan Press 2007).
  • Washington Evidence Trial Book: Objections, Offers of Proof, Rulings on the Record, and Limiting Instructions (1999) (with Stephen A. Saltzburg and Fred Tausend).
  • Evidence (Seattle University Skills Development Series 1996) (with Rick T. Barron).
  • Criminal Procedure (Seattle University Skills Development Series 1995) (with Rick T. Barron).
  • Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy (Little, Brown 1989) (with Marilyn J. Berger and Ronald H. Clark).
  • Pretrial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy (Little, Brown 1988) (with Marilyn J. Berger).


  • Chatting With the Lady in the Grocery Store About Hernandez v. Robles, the New York Same-Sex Marriage Case, 6 Seattle J. Soc. Just. __ (forthcoming 2008).
  • Using Global Law to Teach Domestic Advocacy, 9 T.M. Cooley J. Prac. & Clinical L. 63 (2007).
  • My Father, John Locke, and Assisted Suicide: The Real Constitutional Right 3 Indiana Health L. Rev. (2006).
  • Of Driver’s Licenses and Debtor’s Prison, 4 Seattle J. Soc. Just. 439 (2005) (with Kelly Kunsch).
  • In (Slightly Uncomfortable) Defense of 'Triage' by Public Defenders 39 Valparaiso L. Rev. 925 (2005).
  • Evaluating Brady Error Using Narrative Theory: A Proposal For Reform 53 Drake L. Rev.599 (2005).
  • “Preemptive War”: Is it Constitutional? 44 Santa Clara L. Rev. 497 (2004).
  • A Conversation with Chief Justice John Marshall 2003 Equalizer 14 (November 2003).
  • Letters and Postcards We Wished We Had Sent to Gary Bellow and Bea Moulton 10 Clin. L. Rev. 157 (2003) (with Marilyn Berger).
  • Why Should the Prosecutor Get the Last Word? 27 Am. J. Crim. L. 139 (2000).
  • Narrative and Client-centered Representation: What Is a True Believer to Do When His Two Favorite Theories Collide? 6 Clinical L. Rev. 85 (1999).
  • Another Chat with the Lady in the Grocery Line: Clinton v. Jones, 15 Const. Comment. 441 (1998).
  • A Clinical Textbook?, 20 Seattle U. L. Rev. 353 (1997).
  • Tribute to James E. Beaver, 19 Seattle U. L. Rev. xviii (1996).
  • And Then Suddenly Seattle University Was on Its Way to a Parallel, Integrative Curriculum, 2 Clinical L. Rev. 1 (1995) (with Betsy R. Hollingsworth, Patricia Hall Clark & Raven Lidman).
  • Redefining the Sixth Amendment, 67 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1215 (1994).
  • Rethinking Advocacy Training, 16 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 821 (1993) (with Marilyn J. Berger).
  • What Went Wrong with the Warren Court's Conception of the Fourth Amendment? 27 New Eng. L. Rev. 35 (1992).
  • What Would Happen if Videotaped Depositions of Sexually Abused Children Were Routinely Admitted in Civil Trials? A Journey Through the Legal Process and Beyond, 15 U. Puget Sound L. Rev. 261 (1992).
  • Don't Ever Discuss Rust v. Sullivan with a Lady in a Grocery Line, 9 Const. Comment. 25(1992).
  • In Training Business Lawyers, Theoretical Means Practical, Amer. Law., June 1990, at 30.
  • Current Theories on Expert and Novice Thinking: A Full Faculty Considers the Implications for Legal Education, 39 J. Legal Educ. 275 (1989).
  • Tribute to Andrew Walkover, 12 U. Puget Sound L. Rev. xv (1988).
  • Reasonable Doubts Are Where You Find Them: A Response to Professor Subin's Position on the "Criminal Lawyer's 'Different Mission'" 1 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 339 (1987), reprinted in M.E. Katsch, Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Legal Issues(4th ed. Duskin Publishing Group 1991).
  • The Ethics of the Criminal Defense Attorney—New Answers for Old Questions, 32 Stan. L. Rev. 293 (1980).
  • (2d ed., Aspen, forthcoming 2008) (with Marilyn J. Berger and Ronald H. Clark).