The Legal Advocate

A blog brought to you by the national institute for trial advocacy

Monthly Archives: May 2012

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Expanding the NITA Online Community

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google plus iconAs many of you are aware, we have been busy here at NITA Central in our efforts to expand our social media community. Hopefully you are already fans of our Facebook page, followers  on Twitter, followers on the NITA LinkedIn page, and are members or our Legal Community LinkedIn Group.

Well, now we are offering one more way to connect with NITA: we are now on Google+!

Google+ offers some new and unique ways for us to connect with the legal community. While we are still exploring all of its options and working out ways for us to promote legal advocacy, we are very excited about this new community and what it has to offer. We hope that you add us to one of your circles today!

Welcoming 1st Quarter NITA-Martindale Advocates

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NITA, in conjunction with Martindale-Hubbell, offers two esteemed designations to those who have demonstrated a sustained interest in mastering litigation skills by attending programs that provide a well-rounded foundation in trial advocacy.

The NITA Advocate designation requires completion of Building Trial Skills, Deposition Skills, and one of the following: Articulate Advocate, Writing Persuasive Briefs, or another relevant specialty program. NITA announces these designees every quarter.

The Master Advocate designation requires Advanced Advocacy Skills and Advocacy Teacher Training. NITA announces these designees at the start of every calendar year.

Join us in congratulating the following new advocates:

Mark Caldwell of Burdette & Rice PLLC in Dallas, TX

Erika Campbell-Harris of the US Customs & Border Protection in Atlanta, GA

William Donnell of Gwin Steinmetz & Baird PLLC in Louisville, KY

Alexander Pleshkewych of US Customs & Border Protection in Miami, FL

Gary Slossberg of South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center in South Lake Tahoe, CA

What Would You Say About Your NITA Experience?

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Jill Roberts, Staff Attorney at the Housing Law and Family Law Programs of Cabrini Green Legal Aid, attended the March Midwest Regional program and took the time to write about her NITA experience on the Cabrini Green Advocacy Law blog, Zealous Advocate.

She wrote: “The program has been beneficial as I have been preparing for several eviction jury trials since the program closed. I look forward to applying my new skills in the courtroom. I recommend this training to any litigation attorneys interested in brushing up or learning trial skills.”

Have you attended a NITA program recently? We would enjoy hearing about your time with us. Please share your NITA experiences in the comments section, or stop by the NITA Facebook page.

studio71 Mobile Upgrade and Free Lectures Available

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Have you visited studio71 lately? Since NITA’s online recording studio launched last summer, we’ve made many adjustments and upgrades to improve the online learning experience.

Now all videos are viewable from the iPad, iPhone (with the FREE Mediasite app) and Android, which means you can spend time with your favorite NITA instructors anywhere, anytime.

We’ve also added more content. Here is a sample of the latest FREE recordings available to you:

  • Jury Selection with Hon. Christina Habas (Runtime 52:34)
  • Takeaways from the Six-Minute Marathon with Andrew Hartman (Runtime 23:02)
  • Making and Meeting Objections in Child Welfare Court Proceedings with Marvin Ventrell (run time 59:10)

Visit Studio71 online for a full listing of online course material.

May 2012 Executive Director’s Letter

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John BakerA few months ago, I told you that we were seeking candidates for a new endeavor called NITA Next Generation Faculty. Well, the three-member Next Generation Faculty (NGF) Class of 2012 has been chosen by the selection committee. I am pleased to announce this year’s outstanding class of young up-and-coming NITA faculty members:

Sarah Rathke picture1. Sarah K. Rathke of Squire Saunders, LLC in Cleveland, OH was nominated by longtime NITA Faculty Member Hon. Thomas French of Colorado. Sarah attended the DC Advanced Program, where Tom taught. Sarah has 10 years of experience in trial law, including six jury trials and five bench trials/arbitrations. Sarah teaches trial advocacy at Marshall School of Law.

“I am very excited to be part of the NITA family. It’s an organization I have always admired, and whose training I have benefited from, and I look forward to the opportunity to give back.” – Sarah Rathke

Dina Cox photo2. Dina M. Cox of Lewis Wagner, LLP in Indianapolis, IN was nominated independently by two long-time NITA Program Directors Tom Singer and Hon. Nancy Vaidik. Dina has an active professional liability and product liability civil trial practice, but finds time to teach at both Mid-Central Regional Trial Program and the Mid-Central Deposition Program.

“I am looking forward to meeting more excellent, skilled, and dynamic NITA faculty members across the country; and, I trust that my interaction with them will leave me personally and professionally enriched. I’m also excited to sharpen my teaching and trial advocacy skills by broadening my work with NITA.” – Dina Cox

Hayes Hunt photo3. Hayes A. Hunt of Cozen O’Connor, P.C.’s Philadelphia, PA office was nominated by Louis Natali, a long-time NITA faculty member and program director. After four years at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, Hayes continues his criminal defense practice with Cozens and serves as the firm’s chair of training and pro bono initiatives. Hayes has taught at the Mid-Atlantic program and other NITA programs.

“I am truly humbled to be selected considering NITA’s long-standing history of having the best lawyers throughout the world teach trial advocacy. In my experience as both a participant and faculty member of numerous NITA programs, I leave a better advocate every time. I am fortunate to be part of the NITA tradition.” — Hayes Hunt

As members of the NGF Class of 2012, Sarah, Dina, and Hayes will be trained and invited to teach at geographically diverse NITA trial and deposition programs between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. Each will gain teaching experience as they spend more time with the NITA learning-by-doing philosophy. Welcome to all three.

NITA’s team of practicing lawyers, professors and judges from around the nation dedicates its efforts to the training and development of skilled and ethical legal advocates to improve the adversarial justice system. NITA's Goals are to:
  • Promote justice through effective and ethical advocacy.
  • Train and mentor lawyers to be competent and ethical advocates in pursuit of justice.
  • Develop and teach trial advocacy skills to support and promote the effective and fair administration of justice.
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