The Legal Advocate

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

New Mexico Public Defender’s – NITA Public Service Program

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For the second year in a row, NITA joined forces with the New Mexico Public Defenders in Albuquerque for a trial skills public service program. NITA Program Directors Joleen Youngers and MJ Barr led the 32-person program and worked hard to develop a schedule that would help improve skills including how to present expert testimony and how to cross-examine experts.

Barr stated that, “The New Mexico Public Defenders are chronically out-numbered by their caseloads and the prosecutors while the state of New Mexico struggles to even the playing field. NITA, through its Public Service Programs, stepped in to lend a hand. This year’s two-day program focused on improving advocacy skills for examining experts at trial. Scientific advances continue to be injected into our courtrooms and lawyers need special skills to examine these special witnesses.”

Similarly, after the program concluded, the participants felt the NITA Faculty were of high quality and that the practice with objective feedback was an amazing learning tool.

Furthermore, Training/Recruitment Manager at the Law Offices of the Public Defender in New Mexico, Patricia Anders, stated, “Far too often public defenders are demoralized by the lack of resources available for high quality training on complex litigation matters. The hands-on NITA program reinvigorated and inspired our attorneys and provided them with the practical litigation skills necessary to achieve justice for indigent defendants in New Mexico.”

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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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