The Legal Advocate

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Call For Nominations: The 2014 NITA Awards for Excellence and Service

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Our family of lawyers who teach, write, and administer for NITA is superb and close. NITA’s collaboration of talented trial lawyers, judges, and law teachers who share their skills at programs illustrates the true meaning of professionalism. At the Program Directors meeting this weekend, we are creating new course concepts. This work exemplifies how NITA continues to lead the field in advocacy teaching. Thank you for a superb and successful 2014.

Each year NITA recognizes our “best of the best” by presenting three distinct awards to those who have distinguished themselves from our cast of stars. I invite you to nominate candidates for the 2014 Awards from among those you know to have been leaders in 2014.

Our awards recognize Excellence in the Development of Teaching Techniques and Program Design (The Hon. Prentice H. Marshall Award), Outstanding Service in Instruction (The Hon. Robert E. Keeton Award), and Outstanding Service to NITA (The Robert E. Oliphant Award). The qualifications which further detail the standards for each award are described in the Nomination Form. This detail is new this year, will be helpful to your case for nomination, and will help the committee to distinguish among many fine nominees.

The Hon. Robert E. Keeton Award for Outstanding Service as a NITA Faculty Member acknowledges excellence in teaching. This award is named for Robert Keeton, one of the original teachers at the National Session and a long-time contributor to many programs. Judge Keeton authored one of the first texts on trial advocacy and was NITA’s Director from 1973-1976.

The Hon. Prentice H. Marshall Faculty Award is for Development of Innovative Teaching Methods or Programs. It recognizes a person who has developed and instituted new ideas in NITA’s methods for teaching trial skills, or has created new courses. It is named for the late Prentice Marshall, one of the original teachers at the National Session and a fixture on the NITA faculty. Judge Marshall pioneered efforts to support pro bono advocacy and teaching at major law firms and the judiciary. Marshall was one of the developers of NITA’s four-part teaching methodology.

The Robert E. Oliphant award is for Outstanding Service to NITA in all areas, including program directorship, public service, writing, and support. It honors Professor Robert Oliphant, NITA’s first administrator, who has taught at the University of Minnesota and William Mitchell law schools for over 35 years. Recipients of this award demonstrate dedication to NITA’s mission through instruction, program administration as Program Director or as a Team Leader, or writing.

Nominations are now open for each award. The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 3, 2015. Please submit a nomination by using our Nomination Form, providing sufficient detail to honor the nominee and describe how that person exemplifies the ideals supported by the award you propose.  We receive increasing numbers of nominations each year; e-mails that simply suggest a name do not do justice to the person you wish us to consider.  The Committee members want to know what you like about your nominee and to understand your case for their deserving the award.

If you propose more than one award for any person, please use a separate form for each award pertaining to that person. Nominations will be closed on Friday, April 3, 2015, so please submit your nomination to Mark Caldwell by then.  Our goal is to announce the award winners by the end of June.

Many talented faculty and NITA volunteers contribute their time, energy, and expertise to NITA.  These awards are a small way of acknowledging the important work that keeps NITA as the leader in advocacy training and continuing legal education.  The Committee looks forward to receiving your nominations.  Please do take the time to draft and to submit your nominations.

Thank you. We look forward to seeing another year of record-breaking numbers of nominations.

About Karen M. Lockwood

Karen is the Executive Director at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. Karen brings the insights and creativity rooted in serving corporate and business clients, first-chairing numerous jury and bench trials, and arguing appeals. Her specialty areas have included construction litigation, large disaster cases, multi-party commercial disputes involving all types of contracts, antitrust, trademark and copyright, and ADR.

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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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