The Legal Advocate

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

All posts by Karen M. Lockwood

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.

January 2015 Executive Director’s Letter. Fulfilling Their Expectations:  Our Memories, Broader Than Sorrow

Posted On By

Lockwood_Karen

The best of what we learn about teaching and justice, of how we work intensely together to learn, of how we seek to instill the true advocacy that redeems justice . . . these things we carry forward from those who went first. They donated the foundation of our teaching, and the spirit and brilliance of our collaboration.  Whether founder, designer, creator, faculty, trustee, or author, each person’s excellence in working with the NITA community is still the essence that contributes to NITA result. 

At this start of the year, when we are fresh with news of recent losses, we do well to reflect on the way each person contributed. They knew what they brought. Their vision in contributing was to make a difference then and after they were gone. Yes, they had expectations of the everlasting value of their NITA work. 

As we work within the NITA community, as we welcome our compatriots and revel in gathering each time a faculty is assembled, let us remember this:  We are entrusted with fulfilling not only our goals but also the expectations of these great lawyer/teachers who went before us. They expected that newcomers would bring their genuine best, spar and give, create and critique, build bonds, and cultivate friendships.  We do that still, and will into the future.

This NITA community is about honoring those we work with today for the very reason that we work together.  It is about the larger vision of justice, which would be neither a formed goal nor an achievable mission without our community of sharing.

In tribute to the collective that is NITA, I draw from our NITA Community pages the names of those who have appeared there over the past year. I would prefer to honor all whom we’ve lost. Our lesson is drawn well, however, from this sampling. Look at the diversity of traits remembered throughout these pages about each of these NITA members at the time of their passing. Take them each as a reverent reflection. Take them together, and we know what they expect of us.

Carry it on.   Carry it on.  

M.J. Tocce February 15, 2014
“her life’s mission to work with women working to achieve success”

 

Eddie Ohlbaum March 13, 2014
“playfulness, the kind that creates collegial learning”

 

Keith Roberts March 15, 2014
“the fine art of gentlemanly advocacy in the courtroom”

 

Myles Malman April 21, 2014
“resolve, determination and contagious sense of humor as he prosecuted his cases”

 

Daniel Grove July 21, 2014
“free penchant for arguing and teasing, for quick funny references, for repartee, and for being one’s self”

 

Jim Carrigan August 11, 2014
“his insight into justice, what justice requires, and how much injustice exists that is to be addressed and reversed”

 

JoAnn Harris October 30, 2014
“talent, leadership, and strong resolve to do the right  things the right way”
“contributions that accentuated her keen eye for service to the public interest in justice”

 

Bill Keating January 1, 2015
“trial skills, humor, and humanity that made him both dangerous in the courtroom and a joy in the classroom”

Karen_ShortSig

 

 

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

NITA Offers Condolences To Faculty Member Benjamin Riddles

Posted On By

Long-time NITA faculty member Benjamin Riddles recently lost his son Benny to sudden cardiac arrest. NITA’s Ben Riddles has been a prominent teacher at many of our programs in the DC area. NITA is deeply saddened by this news and offer our heartfelt condolences to the DC faculty and the Riddles family during this time of sorrow.

Condolences to Program Director Gary Williams

Posted On By

NITA extends our condolences to Gary Williams, our long-time Program Director and trial advocacy professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.  Gary’s beloved wife Melanie passed away on the night of January 2, 2015. The faculty and alumni of the Los Angeles Trial Skills Program at Loyola, a close-knit group, were with Gary as he opened NITA’s trial skills program that morning. We are grateful to our NITA friends for their support of Gary as his wife took ill.  Gary remains very much in our thoughts during this challenging time.  We extend our sympathies also to the faculty and friends of the Williams family.

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_ShortSig

 

 

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

November 2014 Executive Director’s Letter: Looking Forward – A Moment of Thanks

Posted On By

Lockwood_KarenA week from today, you and I will be busy getting ready to be really busy. Running off our turkey feasts, planning the weekend sports line-up, and considering our December tasks, we’ll hunker down.

What comes with that is reflection. At NITA, in that pause after next Thursday’s holiday, we will be reflecting on our year’s successes. We’ll be finalizing our plans for greater successes in 2015. And we’ll be measuring success by NITA standards.

  • Did we reach lawyers at all levels of seniority through our public-enrollment programs?
  • Did we make new friends by bringing added value through customized programs
    • for firms of all sizes,
    • for agencies lawyers in adjudicatory hearings and trials,
    • for non-profits whose clients are underrepresented,
    • for state prosecutors and public defenders?
  • Did we leverage our transformative power in the public service by bringing it to
    • lawyer groups targeted by grants,
    • attorneys who specialize in child advocacy, tribal system advocacy, domestic violence, and other target populations?
  • Did we use the printed word and videos of NITA-quality advocacy in the service of NITA?
  • Did we find and invite the best talent in the country onto our faculty?

Yes we did. We are thankful to all of you who contribute so generously of your talents and time.

I measure success by impact – the highest quality in all that we do. And by reach – the importance of NITA training to even the most advanced advocates as well as those in their mid-career and early years.

Restless to do more, we are planning for even greater impact and reach in 2015. Our plans are concrete, and exciting. Watch these pages and my monthly letters for evolving news and insight.  And I would love to hear your thoughts.

Have a wonderful time of thanks in next week’s holiday. And again,

Thank You.

Karen_ShortSig

 

 

Karen M. Lockwood, Esq.
President and Executive Director
National Institute for Trial 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 Goal is 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
Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: