The Legal Advocate

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Category Archives: NITA Community

Welcome the Newest NITA Advocates

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NITA is proud to announce the 2017 2nd quarter recipients of the Advocate Designation. These designations are awarded to a person who has taken a well-rounded set of courses, proving they are serious about trial advocacy.

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  • Andre Hungerford | Hungerford Legal
  • Charles Shelton | Crone Hawxhurst LLP
  • Keevil Markham | Law Office of Keevil L. Markham
  • Maria Estanislao | Loventime Law LLC
  • Marilyn Phelps | Office of Marilyn Phelps
  • Christopher Nuneviller | Nuneviller Law
  • Tanya Broholm | Tanya Broholm Attorney at Law
  • Sam Wu | Law Office of Sam XJ Wu APC

If you have any questions on how you can receive the NITA Advocate or NITA Master Advocate Designation, please review the information on our Advocate Designations page, or email

2017 SWBDA Awards Recognizes The Articulate Advocate: Persuasive Skills for Lawyers in Trial, Appeals, Arbitrations, and Motions

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This year at the 2017 Southwest Book Design and Production Competition (SWBDA) through the New Mexico Book Association, NITA Program Directors, Communication Specialists, and Authors Marsha Hunter and Brian K. Johnson, were recognized at the ceremony. Their book, The Articulate Advocate: Persuasive Skills for Lawyers in Trial, Appeals, Arbitrations, and Motions received a Special Recognition Award.

According to the New Mexico Book Association, they are the only statewide nonprofit serving all book professionals. They honor excellence in authorship, editorial preparation, design, and production.

NITA would like to extend a congratulations to both Marsha and Brian for this achievement. Both have worked together as Program Directors for NITA’s Articulate Advocate programs which teach communication skills to attorneys, focusing on linguistic, cognitive, and vocal skills required for oral advocacy.

To read more about the New Mexico Book Association and the 2017 SWBDA, please visit their website.

NITA Gives Back: Volunteering at Three Leaf Farm

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As part of NITA’s mission to be public servants and give back to our community, the employees at NITA Central in Boulder, CO decided to take a trip on South Boulder Road to the self-sustaining and environmentally conscious, Three Leaf Farm for some good-old-fashioned farm work.

Upon arrival we were greeted by owner Sara Martinelli who gave us a tour of the farm. Martinelli also informed us of their monthly dinners which are hosted at the farm where they can bring their organic produce to their menus for guests to enjoy. Martinelli said the dinners are a very popular event for visitors.

Now it was time to get down to business: once we split into small groups, we engaged in activities such as seeding, planting flowers, working on trails, and weeding. With 15 volunteers from NITA , we were able to get many of these activities accomplished during our 2-hour time frame. One NITA employee, Vanessa Munzert said, “I had an amazing time getting my hands dirty – I never thought pulling weeds would be so fun. But seeing all the animals (especially the babies) was my favorite part!”

Similarly, NITA employee, Alicia Branch said, “I had a great time at Three Leaf Farm – getting dirty, sunburned and blistered hands as it reminded me of my summers helping on my grandparent’s farm as a kid.”

We finished up the day with a picnic lunch at the farm before heading out. Overall, it was a great day spent outdoors in which we were able to all pitch in and help Martinelli and her team. Thanks to Three Leaf Farm for a great experience!

Juvenile Life Without Parole – Making the Case for Release

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NITA’s latest webcast, Juvenile Life Without Parole – Making the Case for Release, premiered on June 13th and is now available on demand so viewers may watch at a time of their choosing. This webcast was presented by Joanna Visser Adjoian, Co-Director of Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project, and Dana Cook, Co-Director of The Atlantic Center for Capital Representation.

Both Adjoian and Cook provided an overview of how to conduct a comprehensive mitigation investigation in juvenile life without parole cases in preparation for a resentencing hearing. As Adjoian and Cook both stated – the reentry plan plays a critical role in facilitating the client’s smooth transition back into their community.

Both presenters will also be speaking at NITA’s public service program, Trying a Miller/Montgomery Sentencing/Resentencing Case, in Houston, July 17-19.

If you were unable to view the live presentation, click here to register and watch anytime.

NITA Faculty Debra Ann Seaton Appointed as Circuit Court Judge in 2nd Sub-circuit of Cook County

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NITA would like to congratulate Debra Ann Seaton, whom the Illinois Supreme Court appointed as Circuit Court Judge to the 2nd Sub-Circuit of Cook County. The appointment became effective on May 18th. According to an article by Jack Leyhane, Seaton’s appointment was made on the recommendation of Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis.

Furthermore, Seaton has been a faculty member with NITA on over 20 programs since 2001. She has brought her knowledge of the courtroom to NITA’s Building Trial Skills: Chicago for many years as well as a variety of deposition, custom, and international programs.

Seaton’s election for full Circuit Court Judge occurs in March 2018 in the 2nd Sub-Circuit. To read Jack Leyhane’s full article on Seaton’s appointment, click here.

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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