The Legal Advocate

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Monthly Archives: September 2012

2012 Tournament of Champions Participating Schools Announced

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School is back in session and soon the leaves will change color and start falling to the ground.  For 16 of the best mock trial teams in the country the changing of the seasons  also means the Tournament of Champions is right around the corner.  Dating back to 1989, the annual tournament is one of the premier law school trial competitions in the nation and is known for having the highest quality of congeniality and good sportsmanship.   Each year, sixteen schools are invited.  The invitations are based on a three-year performance record at the National Trial Competition and the AAJ (formerly ATLA) National Student Trial Advocacy Competition, and performances at prior Tournament of Champions competitions.

By virtue of winning the 2010 Tournament of Champions, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law will host this year’s event.  The competition runs from October 24-28 and will take place in multiple locations in downtown Chicago.  The winning team receives the traveling James Seckinger Trophy (think Stanley Cup), a team plaque, and individual plaques for each team member.  The Best Advocate winners in each round are awarded a scholarship to a NITA Deposition Skills Program.

To read more on this year’s competition and follow the results, click here.  Below is a list of the 16 teams competing in 2012:

Baylor Law School
Chicago-Kent College of Law
Duquesne University School of Law
Northwestern University School of Law
Pepperdine University School of Law
Samford University Cumberland School of Law
St. John’s University School of Law
Stanford Law School
Stetson University College of Law
The University of Akron Law School
University of California, Berkeley School of Law
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
University of Kentucky College of Law
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
University of Wisconsin Law School
Washington University School of Law in St. Louis

Bottlenose – A New Kind of Animal

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Recently I’ve been on the hunt for a new tool that allows me to more effectively monitor NITA’s social communities. I’ve been looking for something different from Hootsuite or similar tools, because those tend to focus on a one-way channel of content dissemination and on managing the creation of that content. I wanted a tool that allows me to receive a lot of information on what is going on in our community.  I wanted to know what people are talking about, because you can’t have a conversation if you’re only talking at people–that defeats the purpose of an online community.

Through one of my LinkedIn Groups I came across a new application  that focuses on Social Media. It’s not uncommon for someone to note a ‘cool new widget’ in these communities, and typically they don’t live up to their hype. But this particular post piqued my interest, and I checked out Bottlenose for the first time. I was extremely impressed right from the start. The entire focus of this app is to give you the ability to listen to your online community, which was exactly what I was looking for.

Enough of the small talk. Here’s some meat and potatoes:

Bottlenose allows you to link the following accounts: Twitter, Facebook, Buffer, Google Reader, and LinkedIn.

You can stay up-to-date on world events and topics in the “Global Trends” dashboard.

But the really impressive features of Bottlenose happen in the your Dashboard.

You can see what’s happening right now in “Your World”

Keep up on “Your Streams”

See what’s new in a customized “Paper”

And, my personal favorite, see how topics are trending via the “Sonar.”

 Like any new application, there is a learning curve, but if you truly establish and maintain a successful online community and presence then this is an extremely useful tool that will go a long ways for you.

Past Recollection Recorded

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Angela Vigil explains how to use Past Recollection Recorded to get information into evidence when the witness cannot remember their answer.

International Academy of Trial Lawyers Show Support

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Donation of $10,000 to the NITA Foundation

The International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL) made a generous gift to the NITA Foundation in June of $10,000. The contribution to the Annual Fund will be used to bolster scholarships and public service programs.

The Academy is a group of truly elite lawyers representing both sides of the Bar: prosecutors and defense lawyers in criminal cases and plaintiff’s and defense counsel in civil litigation (including business and personal injury cases). While the majority of the Fellows come from the U.S., the Academy includes lawyers from more than 30 countries. Fellowship is by invitation only, and trial lawyers are invited to become Fellows only after an extremely careful vetting process. For more information about IATL please visit www.iatl.net.

NITA Visits Coors Field

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On Friday August 17th NITA hosted its second annual Rockies Night at Coors Field.  The Colorado Rockies took on the Miami Marlins and among the 25,614 in attendance were 38 NITA staff members and their guests.  The game went back and forth all night and was very entertaining. Unfortunately, the visiting Marlins came away with a 6-5 victory.  Had it not been for some early fielding miscues and Carlos Gonzalez’s near miss of robbing Jose Reyes of a 3-run home run, the outcome would have likely gone the other way.  Despite the loss, the home fans were treated to quite a show by one of the Marlin’s players. RF Giancarlo Stanton led off the 6th inning with a towering 474 foot home run.  It was easily the longest home run hit at Coors Field this season.

More important than the game, however, was the opportunity for NITA staff and their friends/family to enjoy an evening together outside of the office.  “We see each other all day and all week in the office yet there are people we work with that we may not know a lot about outside of the office,” said NITA HR Director Kerry Gilbert.  “Outings like this allow us to get to know our colleagues outside the walls of NITA and ultimately lead to better working relationships.”

All we can ask for next summer is that the Rockies have a better record when the NITA staff visits Coors field.

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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