The Legal Advocate

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

Monthly Archives: December 2014

December 2014 Executive Director’s Letter: A Meditation at Year’s End

Posted On By

Lockwood_KarenThis month closes a good year at NITA. Our programs filled. Our publications moved into the e-book space. Our website brings you fresh views and more information every month. Our webcasts attract hundreds of viewers live and remain on line for you if you missed them. Our blog, The Legal Advocate, brings you articles on litigation insights that help show off our faculty’s expertise, news about our NITA community, and more — even the occasional movie review.

And so we turn our attention to building programs for public service lawyers. We serve these lawyer groups in special ways. They have limited means due to their client base, and they serve clients who otherwise would have no lawyer amid extenuating circumstances.  They come from legal aid practices, advocacy agencies for children, groups helping those in poverty or underserved populations, tribal justice systems, criminal practice by public defenders, under budgeted state and local prosecutor offices, and other special groups.

(1)  Our first question in planning this project was one for NITA’s Board:  can we fund public service programs in advance of the upcoming year? Having a budget stated in advance, which we know is available, gives us the power to build programs we have always wanted to do. 

The Board responded with an astounding surprise – they committed a percentage of reserves to be spent each year for the NITA public service mission. This nest egg is seed money. With it we will be building new opportunities for service.

(2)  Next, the second question is for you. As you find the Board’s leadership inspiring, will you join NITA’s effort to expand the budget needed to create and provide programs uniquely suited to public service audiences?  The Board knew, when it partially funded a public service budget that others would follow its commitment.   

This is the time of year to ask, and so we do.  We need you to remember the transformative power of NITA live programs. We need you to help others to experience that transformation. They need your gift to NITA’s Public Service Program Fund.  Remember, we need these funds to initiate 2015-16 programs that purposely target certain public service practices that need more of NITA than they can get. We will find them. Please click here to make your gift.

As you give, consider a gift in memory of JoAnn Harris to the public service fund.. JoAnn regarded her work to teach NITA in Indian country as one of the most significant accomplishments of her life.

Equally you may consider a give in memory of Jim Carrigan. If you wish to support more scholarships – which always are underfunded — you may consider the Jim and Beverly Carrigan Scholarship Fund (touching Colorado and area lawyers). 

We are grateful for all that you, our NITA community members, do to support NITA’s public interest and scholarship projects.  

May you have a blessed holiday season, and a peaceful 2015.  Thank you for your NITA work, and your NITA generosity.  




Karen M. Lockwood, Esq.
President and Executive Director
National Institute for Trial Advocacy

2014 Highlights: Fourth Quarter New Publications

Posted On By
Alternatives To Litigation

Alternatives to Litigation

Now in its Third Edition, Alternatives to Litigation reflects the growth in alternative dispute resolution and also the growing interest, and in some states mandatory use of, ADR.

$60 | *Available in Epub and Mobi eBook formats!

Criminal Litigation

Criminal Litigation and Legal Issues in Criminal Procedure

Criminal Litigation & Legal Issues in Criminal Procedure is designed to incorporate the substantive law of criminal procedure into a trial advocacy course.

$45 | *Available in Epub and Mobi eBook formats!

Expert Testimony

Expert Testimony

The collaborative effort of Professors Steve Lubet and Elizabeth Boals has resulted in a Third Edition of Expert Testimony: A Guide for Expert Witnesses and the Lawyers Who Examine Them that is worthwhile to both the expert witnesses and the lawyers who examine them.

$45 | *Available in Epub and Mobi eBook formats!

Evidence Problems

Evidence Problems

Evidence Problems presents a set of problems designed primarily as supplementary material for an introductory course in Evidence. These problems allow the first-time evidence student to gain a working knowledge of how the rules work in connection with a set of recurring trial situations.

$45 | *Available in Epub and Mobi eBook formats!

*NITA’s publications are available on our site as eBooks in MOBI and EPUB formats. MOBI files are compatible with Kindle devices. EPUB files are compatible with iPad, Kobo, Nook, Sony to name a few. To view and purchase all of NITA’s print publications including case files, go to

Remembering JoAnn Harris

Posted On By

New Memorial Fundraising Established

It was with deep sadness that we wrote in October about JoAnn Harris passing.  She was one of our greats, one of our champions, one who served as a conscience for public service.  We are proud to establish the JoAnn Harris Public Service Memorial, to inspire donations to the NITA Public Service Fund, which JoAnn so passionately helped to start and steadfastly supported.

As the NITA community continually reflects on her contributions to NITA, today we celebrate JoAnn Harris, and all that she meant to justice.  The Public Service Fund is critical to NITA’s ability to reach lawyers who serve the underrepresented.  By strengthening the trial skills of public service lawyers in NITA’s dedicated public service programs, your donation supports justice and honors JoAnn by continuing her legacy to NITA.

JoAnn was one of the greatest supporters of NITA’s public service efforts.  She focused not only on tribal justice systems, but also on training lawyers to deal with domestic violence and immigration issues.  JoAnn’s thoughtful and committed performance as a proponent of the work of the NITA Foundation guided NITA for years.  She helped drive its mission, and instilled the confidence and support needed to succeed.

With her long-time role as Board Trustee, JoAnn’s influence on NITA is everlasting.  She gracefully, and unstintingly, kept our public service mission in our headlights.  With her teaching, she guided each of us to be better advocates and better people.

To honor JoAnn’s memory, the NITA Foundation invites you to make a gift in her honor under the name of the JoAnn Harris Public Service Memorial.

Please click here to make your gift by selecting Public Service Program Fund and indicate your gift is in memory of JoAnn Harris in the comment section.

Thank you for your continuing support to NITA, the NITA Foundation, and our mission.

Memorial Drive To Give To the Jim and Beverly Carrigan Scholarship Fund

Posted On By

Honoring “His Honor,” the late Jim R. Carrigan

The news of Colorado Justice Jim Carrigan’s passing in August of this year made the entire NITA community reflect on our beginnings, our NITA family, our growth, and our maturation.  Jim deserves credit for nurturing NITA through its early history, helping to shape its ethic and core values, and shepherding it into maturity as a nationally revered organization.  His personality and commitment bonded NITA, committing trial lawyers to the mission of improving advocacy among our own.  To name a few of his many gifts to NITA, Jim established a solid vision using his wit and wisdom, helped pioneer the NITA teaching method, and even invited NITA to use his home as the first “office,” making his wife Beverly and their children the “First Family.”

NITA and the Foundation invite you to honor Jim by encouraging new donations to the Jim and Beverly Carrigan Scholarship Fund.  Jim and Bev created the Fund together, and were regular contributors. Your gift will be used by NITA to continue the Carrigans’ goal of funding scholarships for worthy applicants who meet economic means qualifications defined per the Denver, Boulder or equivalent areas, and who otherwise would be unable to attend NITA programs, with preference to public service attorneys.

Jim’s presence is still keenly felt at NITA.  Help NITA and his beloved wife Beverly keep Jim’s memory alive by contributing to their fund.

Please click here to make your gift by selecting Jim and Bev Carrigan Scholarship Fund and indicate your gift is in memory of Jim Carrigan in the comment section.

Thank you for your continuing support to NITA, the NITA Foundation, and our mission.

2014 Highlights: NITA’s studio71

Posted On By

In 2014, NITA’s studio71 put on 15 live webcasts. We did a an overview of our viewing statistics to find the most popular webcast of the year. Here they are:

s71 View NOw

Effective Handling & Use of Exhibits at Trial: How to Look Cool & Be Persuasive Using Stuff at Trial

Originally brought to you as a live webcast, this was our #1 presentation in 2014 in terms of a combination of live plus on demand views. Still available on-demand, this webcast will give you the 7 steps of how to handle exhibits. You will learn how to integrate exhibits into your direct examination to support your witness and how to use those paper exhibits effectively once they are in evidence. And you will learn the key questions to ask to use photographs and diagrams and how to use those to support and repeat your witness’s testimony.

s71 View NOw

Evidentiary Foundations

Coming in at a very close second in total views, this webcast has the highest number of on-demand views in 2014. Still available on-demand, this hour-long presentation will challenge the processes you utilize to prepare for litigated hearings. In a world of trial notebooks and stipulations, the skills needed to place evidence before a factfinder are slowly fading away. Because you never know when your opponent isn’t just going to say “we stipulate,” you’d better know how to put your evidence before your factfinder.

s71 View NOw

Evidentiary Foundations for Social Media Evidence

NITA’s studio71’s third highest webcast in terms of live and on-demand views is Evidentiary Foundations for Social Media Evidence. In this seminar, lawyers will work with witnesses to demonstrate various ways to establish foundations for admission of social media pages into evidence, under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. United States District Judge Paul Grimm, one of the leading judicial thinkers on social media evidence, will issue rulings and comment on the issues raised.

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.
Feature Products