The Legal Advocate

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

Monthly Archives: July 2012

July 2012 Executive Director’s Letter: Welcome Karen Lockwood

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John BakerAfter a nine month national executive search, I am happy to report that on June 20, 2012 the Board of Trustees of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy announced that Karen M. Lockwood, Esq. will become the organization’s executive director on December 1, 2012. Karen is currently CEO and founder of The Lockwood Group, a consulting firm focused on advancing sustainable diversity in the legal profession by innovating business systems and practices. Karen brings the perfect mix of NITA experience, legal experience, and business acumen to this position.

Lockwood’s longtime association with NITA makes her an excellent choice to lead the  organization.

Prior to founding The Lockwood Group in 2009, Karen practiced commercial litigation and appeals for 31 years in a global, a mid-size, and a small Washington DC firm. A member of the Supreme Court and 10 federal appeals court bars, she has tried jury and bench trials in federal and state court, specializing in construction, intellectual property, antitrust, and business litigation. Her law practice also included arbitrating cases, serving as arbitrator, and negotiating commercial transactions. In addition, she has taught alternative dispute resolution as an adjunct professor of law at American University Washington College of Law.

Karen is deeply familiar with NITA and its teaching method, having served as a faculty member since 1997.  She has led one of NITA’s most popular public programs, Building Trial Skills: DC, since 2004, custom deposition and trial programs for government agencies, and directs the Equal Justice Works program aimed at public service attorneys.

Over the next five months Karen and I will work together to ensure a smooth transition.  With Karen taking the reins, I will return to teaching NITA programs and to being a lawyer in Denver with emphasis on public service and pro bono cases.

Join me in welcoming Karen to her new role with NITA.




John Baker

Bankoff Takes on New Role at Georgia Tech

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Joe Bankoff, former NITA Board of Trustee Chair, is taking on two new roles at Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen College. Beginning in September, Bankoff will be Chair of The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and a Professor of the Practice in Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

For the last six years, Joe served as the President and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta. Read more about his move on the Georgia Tech website.

Congratulations to Joe on this new endeavor.

Fourteen New NITA-Martindale Advocates

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Every quarter, NITA and Martindale-Hubbell announce the recipients of the Advocate Designation. This designation requires completion of the NITA Building Trial Skills program, the Deposition Skills program, and one of the following: Articulate Advocate, Writing Persuasive Briefs, or another specialty program.

Join us in congratulating the following new Advocates:

  • Charles Ash, Jr. of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP in Grand Rapids, MI
  • Ann Christoff of Barkley Martinez PC in Denver, CO
  • Fabiola Ruiz Doolan of Ruiz Doolan Law Firm LLC in Hackensack, NJ
  • Jennifer Gibbs of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason in Dallas, TX
  • Michael Healy of The McMillan Law Firm in La Mesa, CA
  • Ike Lucero, Jr. of Law Office of Ike Lucero Jr. PC in Pueblo, CO
  • Matthew Markling of McGown & Markling Co LPA in Akron, OH
  • John Musto of the City of Dayton Dept of Law in Dayton, OH
  • David Pharr of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Jackson, MS
  • Donald Teller of the Teller Law Firm in Grapevine, TX
  • Peter Thomas of Thomas Genshaft LLP in Aspen, CO
  • Monica Torres-Linares of the Legal Assistance Foundation in Chicago, IL
  • Alex Valdes of Winstead PC in Austin, TX
  • Mark Wallin of Stack & O’Connor Chartered in Chicago, IL


NITA Past President Receives ABA McKay Award

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Laurence “Lonny” Rose was chosen to receive the Robert B. McKay Law Professor Award given by the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section.  Rose, who served as NITA’s President and CEO from 2007-2010 after having served as the organization’s executive director from 1999-2006 and associate director from 1986-1992, will receive the award at the ABA Annual Conference in Chicago in early August.

The award (the most distinguished award given to law professors by the ABA TIPS) was created in 1988 to honor law professors who have shown commitment to the advancement of justice, scholarships, and the legal profession, demonstrated by outstanding contributions to the fields of tort and insurance law.

Rose is now professor emeritus at the University of Miami’s School of Law and is also the Director of the school’s Litigation Skills Program.

Zelda Harris Takes Post at Loyola-Chicago

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This August, Professor Zelda Harris will begin her appointment as Director of the Dan K. Webb Center for Advocacy at Loyola University, Chicago School of Law. Prof. Harris will continue the work of the Center that was led by Prof. Jamie Carey who retired from Loyola after 34 years of service in July.

As Director of the Center for Advocacy, Prof. Harris will be responsible for leading Loyola’s extensive programs and advocacy curriculum, including the highly regarded Philip H. Corboy Fellowship Program in trial advocacy, the J.D. certificate in advocacy, and the L.L.M degree program in advocacy. In addition, Prof. Harris will teach advocacy courses as a member of Loyola’s full-time law faculty. Prof. Harris’ vision for the future of the Center includes the development of a broad curriculum that educates young lawyers with the diverse skills needed to be successful in today’s legal environment inside and outside the courtroom, with a focus on alternative dispute resolution, mediation, transactional practice, working with professionals across disciplines, client counseling, business development and litigation management. The goal is to train lawyers to be strategic, persuasive, effective and ethical across diverse practice environments.

Prof. Harris comes to Loyola after serving on the faculty of the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona as Director of the Domestic Violence Law Clinic and Co-Director of the Child and Family Law Clinic In that role, she practiced as an attorney and supervised law student attorneys representing victims of domestic violence and child abuse and neglect in civil and criminal proceedings in state court. She has over 15 years of experience as an advocacy instructor for NITA, the Kessler-Edison Program in Trial Techniques at Emory School of Law, and the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, and as a faculty member for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

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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