The Legal Advocate

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

State v. Donaldson

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NITA’s case file, State v. Donaldson, by authors Joseph E. Taylor and Michael Sands, illustrates the shocking death of a 6-month-old and begs the question, is someone to blame? In this case, 6-month-old Cara O’Neil died from a mysterious head injury. The State of Nita has charged Stephen Donaldson with murder in the second degree, but he claims he did nothing more than comfort and care for his stepdaughter after she fell out of her crib days before her death. This case included 5 witnesses for the plaintiff and 4 for the defendant as well as video evidence from the scene. Is Stephen Donaldson to blame for his stepdaughter’s untimely death?

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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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