The Legal Advocate

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Monthly Archives: November 2012

NITA Faculty Member Appointed Judge in Illinois

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Thomas Lynch, NITA faculty member and business litigator at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, has been appointed to a 14-year term as U.S. Bankruptcy Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division. Lynch will be replacing Judge Manuel Barbosa, who is retiring after completing his 14-year term.

Lynch regularly teaches for NITA at the Midwest Regional Building Trial Skills program in Chicago (at Loyola University Law School).  He has also been on the faculty of the Midwest Deposition Skills program in Chicago.  In addition to his NITA teaching Lynch is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law. Please join us in congratulating Thomas Lynch on this recent appointment.

Give Where You Live – Colorado Gives Day 2012

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The NITA Foundation is proud to be one of the local charities in Colorado that can benefit from donor support on Colorado Gives Day, scheduled for Tuesday December 4, 2012! To make a donation online on Colorado Gives Day specifically to support the NITA Foundation, please log onto:

Community First Foundation, an Arvada-based foundation dedicated to increasing community generosity and involvement, and FirstBank, Colorado’s largest locally owned bank, will host Colorado Gives Day 2012,. The initiative is to increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. In addition to fundraising, Colorado Gives Day raises awareness of the state’s nonprofit sector and educates communities about the benefits of online giving.

The third annual Colorado Gives Day will take place during a 24-hour period on Tuesday, December 4, 2012. Community First Foundation and FirstBank partnered for the last two years, distributing $8.7 million to Colorado nonprofits in 2010 and $12.8 million in 2011.

“The 2010/2011 comparisons, which can be found in the Colorado Gives Day 2011 Report, are fascinating. For example, the number of online donations increased by 160 percent, with a 73 percent increase in the number of participating nonprofits and a 116 percent increase in the number of donors,” said Marla J. Williams, President and CEO of Community First Foundation. “In 2011, 93 percent of nonprofits acquired new donors and we were pleased to see so many nonprofits collaborate in their marketing and fundraising efforts to make an even greater local impact on Colorado Gives Day 2011. We look forward to seeing what 2012 will bring.”

FirstBank has renewed its role as corporate partner of Colorado Gives Day and has committed $600,000 to the 2012 campaign. FirstBank committed $500,000 to Colorado Gives Day 2011 and $300,000 in 2010.

“In only two years, Colorado Gives Day has become a philanthropic institution in our state, bringing together local residents to support the nonprofit organizations that make Colorado such a vibrant place to live and work,” said John Ikard, President and CEO of FirstBank Holding Company. “In addition to our financial support, FirstBank invests time and energy into promoting Colorado Gives Day to local nonprofits and the broader Colorado community. We’re honored to play a role in bringing Colorado Gives Day 2012 to life.” Once again, credit card and processing fees will be covered by Community First Foundation, FirstBank, and sponsors so that 100 percent of Colorado Gives Day donations go directly to nonprofit organizations.

“Participating in Colorado Gives Day has proven to be a successful fundraising opportunity for CASA Jeffco/Gilpin,” said Leah Varnell, Executive Director. “Our program recruits, trains, and supports community volunteers who advocate in court for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA Jeffco/Gilpin has only enough resources to provide volunteers for 30 percent of open cases of abuse and neglect in Jefferson and Gilpin counties. Participating in Colorado Gives Day has increased donations to our program by a substantial amount. That, in turn, provides us the opportunity to advocate for additional child abuse victims. In addition, the publicity that Colorado Gives Day generates assists in introducing our program to a larger community and allows us to highlight the continual need for additional CASA volunteers.”

About Community First Foundation
Community First Foundation helps donors and nonprofits come together to improve quality of life in the Denver metro area. We use our resources to fund community programs, support the services of nonprofit organizations, and assist individuals with charitable giving. By monitoring the pulse of the community, we create new and innovative programs such as GivingFirst,org, an online giving resource, and Colorado Gives Day, an initiative that inspired Coloradans to donate $12.4 million in 2011 and $8.4 million in 2010. We’ve been serving the community since 1975.

About FirstBank
FirstBank operates more than 125 locations in Colorado, Arizona and California. FirstBank is the largest locally owned banking organization in Colorado, serving more than 600,000 customers. Since its inception in 1963, FirstBank has contributed more than $45 million and thousands of volunteer hours to charitable organizations. The bank was recognized as a 2010 “Partner in Philanthropy” by the Denver Business Journal because of its philanthropic activities. FirstBank is unique in that a majority of its stock is owned by management and employees. For more information, go to


NITA Pilots Program with E-Book

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NITA launched its first e-book pilot program with our new e-book, Modern Trial Advocacy by Steve Lubet. For the October Building Trial Skills: Pacific program in San Diego, attendees were invited to receive textbook either as an e-book or as the original hard copy version.  Only a select handful of attendees opted to receive the e-book.  The logic behind choosing the e-book for iPad or Kindle was that they would not have to lug the textbook around during the program.  Yet with these eReaders, attendees can still make notes and mark their e-book just as they would a normal textbook.

Overall, this format for the materials was well received.  It was easy to follow our downloading instructions to obtain the e-book and was easy to read on their eReaders. We did have one attendee make the comment that he feared that the courts, which typically allow their attorneys to use the hard copy of the textbook in court, may not be as flexible with an e-book, as the courts are still very cautious with what technology they will allow.

Upcoming programs that will also feature the use of ebook versions are:

To view other NITA publications available in e-book format, click here.

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Sandy, E-discovery Hot Topics at Litigation Summit

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Presented by ALM, publisher of the American Lawyer and the  National Law Journal (among others), the 2012 Litigation Summit and Exposition brings together thought leaders in litigation and litigation technology.  The program this year featured five different tracks and was book-ended by industry relevant keynote speakers.  However, there were two words that were heard more than any other during the two-day event, as they came up in seemingly every session and conversation: Sandy and e-discovery.

Even through the conference took place in Washington, D.C., the effects of Hurricane Sandy were easily noticeable.  A number of registered attendees were unable to make the trip due to the storm.  Relying heavily on attendance from the east coast, many attendee badges unfortunately went unclaimed.  Here’s hoping all those affected by the storm, conference attendees and otherwise, return to a sense of normalcy safely and soon.

Everyone who did make it to the conference could choose to attend a number of different sessions, all dealing with recent legal and regulatory developments in various substantive areas.  From the keynote session on economics of litigation to the closing session on unethical and rogue employee activities, and in nearly every breakout session in between, the clear hot button issue for the audience was e-discovery.  It wasn’t always in the session title or even in the description but it inevitably came up.  Even conversations outside the session–during meals  and in the exhibit hall–often focused on e-discovery.  That wasn’t a big surprise though, given that a good number of conference sponsors were were in the e-discovery arena.

It remains to be seen if e-discovery will be as hot of a topic when this event takes place in 2013. It’s too bad that so many people missed the opportunity to learn about and discuss this important topic due to something completely out of their control.  Whatever the hot topics happen to be next year, conferences like this will develop programming that addresses them in as much detail as it did for e-discovery this year. Let’s just hope Mother Nature is more cooperative in 2013.

The Voice by James Brosnahan

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James Brosnahn discusses the importance of the voice and how it pertains to all aspects of legal advocacy.

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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