The Legal Advocate

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Category Archives: Publications

2014 Highlights: Fourth Quarter New Publications

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Alternatives To Litigation

Alternatives to Litigation

Now in its Third Edition, Alternatives to Litigation reflects the growth in alternative dispute resolution and also the growing interest, and in some states mandatory use of, ADR.

$60 | *Available in Epub and Mobi eBook formats!

Criminal Litigation

Criminal Litigation and Legal Issues in Criminal Procedure

Criminal Litigation & Legal Issues in Criminal Procedure is designed to incorporate the substantive law of criminal procedure into a trial advocacy course.

$45 | *Available in Epub and Mobi eBook formats!

Expert Testimony

Expert Testimony

The collaborative effort of Professors Steve Lubet and Elizabeth Boals has resulted in a Third Edition of Expert Testimony: A Guide for Expert Witnesses and the Lawyers Who Examine Them that is worthwhile to both the expert witnesses and the lawyers who examine them.

$45 | *Available in Epub and Mobi eBook formats!

Evidence Problems

Evidence Problems

Evidence Problems presents a set of problems designed primarily as supplementary material for an introductory course in Evidence. These problems allow the first-time evidence student to gain a working knowledge of how the rules work in connection with a set of recurring trial situations.

$45 | *Available in Epub and Mobi eBook formats!

*NITA’s publications are available on our site as eBooks in MOBI and EPUB formats. MOBI files are compatible with Kindle devices. EPUB files are compatible with iPad, Kobo, Nook, Sony to name a few. To view and purchase all of NITA’s print publications including case files, go to

From NITA’s Publications Department

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naviconbg3Publications is ready to begin building the 2016 publication pipeline. We’re happy to provide you support and guidance as you develop your idea in to a complete proposal. Or perhaps you have a colleague interested in writing for NITA, help us recruit new talent by referring us to future potential authors.
What goes in to a product proposal?

  • Product description,
  • Potential table of contents,
  • Format (printed book, CD),
  • Author bios,
  • Target audience,
  • Competing products.

The more information you provide the easier it is for us to work with you to develop a complete product profile.

Please send all product proposals to Michelle Windsor at

Mediation Part Three: Excerpt from The Art of Mediation, Second Edition

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Art Of Mediation coverThis workbook is designed for basic mediation training. Authors Scott Hughes, Mark Bennett, and Michele Hermann take NITA’s performance-based training for trial lawyers and adapt it to training for mediators. The Art of Mediation includes details that are often overlooked such as optimal seating arrangements during meetings. The excerpt and graphic below take a look at that section of this book.


Some mediators prefer to work around tables, others do not like to use them unless absolutely necessary because they form a barrier between people. If the mediation requires reference to objects or documents, it may be inconvenient to work without a table. For more relational mediations, tables can be physical and psychological components that keep people apart or help people feel more secure.

Chairs should be positioned so that everyone can see and hear other participants easily. We prefer to keep a distance between the chairs of the parties, which prevents them from leaning and touching or gesturing at the other party in threatening or offensive ways. We also want the chairs of the parties to be at an angle to each other so they can easily make eye contact but are not in a confrontational face-to-face physical position.

In large group sessions, semicircular seating arrangements facing a wall on which flip chart pages are posted are often helpful. When observers are present but not  participating at the table, a “fish bowl” offers a logical and effective format, putting the participants in the center and the observers around them.



If you are interested in purchaing a copy of this book, you can find it in print and as an eBook in EPUB and MOBI formats.

Book Report: NITA’s MRS v. Riverboat Queen Case Files

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reviewed by NITA faculty member and guest blogger, Karen Steinhauser 

caseFileMSRvsRiverboatQueenEver since travelling to  New Orleans and dining on a riverboat, Fred Glenn and his wife dreamed of operating a restaurant on a boat. That dream became a realty four years later with the launching of The Riverboat Queen, a paddleboat that Glenn had designed and built. Then his dream turned into a nightmare when he got a terrible phone call telling him that his dream, his livelihood, had sunk and had been found on the bottom of the lake.

The nightmare only got worse when he hired Marine Recovery and Salvage to raise the boat and they couldn’t get it done, and he had to fire them and hire another company. Then, even though his insurance wasn’t due to be renewed until three days after he lost the boat, the insurance company refused to pay the insurance claim, claiming that Glenn had not properly maintained the boat and that he intentionally sunk the boat.

After another company was able to raise the boat, the problems continued when Nita City terminated Glenn’s lease for the dock where The Riverboat Queen had been docked for years, claiming that he violated the law and did not have the boat insured.

Finally, to add insult to injury, the State of Nita brought criminal charges against Glenn, alleging (1) a violation of the Nita Water Hazards Act in that he recklessly caused the sinking of the boat, creating a condition that could lead to discharge of pollutants into the lake, and (2) attempted insurance fraud alleging that Glenn submitted a false claim to his insurance company.

MRS v. Riverboat Queen, by Cheryl Brown Wattley of UNT Dallas College of Law, is a unique case file in that it really contains four separate case files each utilizing different claims, theories of liability, and defenses, but all of them sharing the same witnesses. It can provide instructors with the opportunity to teach advocacy in various types of legal scenarios while still being able to utilize the same basic witnesses and same basic facts for each of the case scenarios.

The cases are:

  • MRS v. Fred Glenn dba Riverboat Queen, involving a breach of contract claim, with a counterclaim of fraud and misrepresentation;
  • Fred Glenn dba The Riverboat Queen v. Insur-All Insurance Company, involving a bad faith claim and breach of contract being brought against the Insurance company;
  • Fred Glenn dba The Riverboat Queen v. Nita City, involving a breach of contract and landlord/tenant dispute; and
  • State of Nita v. Fred Glenn, a criminal case file with unusual charges of violating the Nita Water Hazards Act, as well as insurance fraud.

The file contains 52 exhibits including contracts, memos to the file, photographs, and emails. The three civil case files all present issues not only of the substantive claims, but also as to how the damages for each of the claims are calculated. Many of the witnesses overlap in the various case files depending on how many witnesses instructors want to use. The witness statements themselves are unique because while there are depositions for each witness, there are supplements to the depositions that provide additional information from the particular witness corresponding to the individual case file that is being used.

Book Review: ‘Laying Foundations and Meeting Objections’

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Laying Foundations and Meeting Objections: How to Succeed with Exhibits at Deposition and Trial. Written by Deanne Siemer,  4th Edition,  2012  NITA  ebook.

This essential, practical guide for the trial lawyer takes the guesswork and the reliance upon imperfect memory out of the obstacle course that is the rules of evidence strangling your friendly collection of ‘intended’ exhibits.

Whether your quest is getting some exhibit evidence in or keeping it out, you need this ebook on your computer or tablet screen as you prepare and appear at depositions and trial.  With it this book at your side you can make decisions about text documents, numbers documents (e.g. charts, timelines, and data printouts), illustrative documents (e.g. maps, diagrams, and sketches), physical objects and substances, recordings (e.g. photos, imaging, recordings, and videos), replicas (e.g. demonstrations, animations, and reconstructions, etc.). You can also consider how to use testamentary aids and how to put the necessary arguments for or against admission.  This is a reference tool that saves you from the hindsight observation, “If only…”

An exhibit, the author reminds us, is admissible if it is something that reasonable people could use to draw a reasonable inference about the truth of a relevant fact.

Laying the foundation for such an exhibit to be admitted as evidence requires attention to CIRA, that being the sum of: competence of the witness to testify about the exhibit, identification of the exhibit in a defining way, relevance of the exhibit to an issue; and authentication that it is what it is said to be.

Where there is insufficient attention to any one of the elements then a successful challenge can be made.

Deanne Siemer has developed a comprehensive approach that explains the evidential law requirements and illustrates the application to each type of exhibit with transcripts of foundation and argued objections, thereby bringing the process alive.

To write this review the reviewer read the book from cover to cover.  That, however, is not the way to use this book in practice.   Read the opening part on fundamentals and then go directly to the part that covers the type of proposed exhibit.

For example, there is excellent coverage of the problems posed by computer-stored data, such as to how to validate that the data is ‘secure’ and free from tampering, and how courts ‘often fall back on three standard criteria…the use of routine procedures designed to assure accuracy, the presence of a motive to assure accuracy, and the absence of anticipated litigation when the data were generated’.

Little gems of deadpan insight appear unexpectedly, but often enough to be waited for.  One such is that ‘perishable, greasy, living, or dangerous things all have peculiar problems that can be resolved by careful thought and perhaps a conference with the judge.’  No doubt.  My mind wanders to an Aliens movie.

Another is that ‘when you read from any document, even if only a few sentences, you should give the court reporter a copy to help them more easily transcribe the reading.’  Some court reporters would nominate the author for their Hall of Fame for that suggestion.

And one more: that ‘no sophisticated animation can be cross-examined successfully at trial without…sufficient time to prepare for the cross-examination.’  This reflects one of Newton’s laws in that the time taken to make a good animation is generally so much that an equal contribution in lawyer time seems only fair.

When the author is discussing the pros and cons of a view there is this appealing suggestion of another way: bring the outside inside—have a large screen next to the witness in the courtroom. Have a ‘live’ feed from the view site so that an assistant at the view site can move the camera around at your request for the benefit of fact-finder, witness, and your opponent.  Be sure to have the images received in the court room stored and marked as an exhibit.

The success of this book is also due to the reader’s realization that those assessing the strengths and limitations of the present rules of evidence should ponder why that which should be straightforward has become so time consuming and complex.  As the author expertly and smoothly navigated from one rule to another, this reviewer could not escape this thought: “No wonder formal litigation is on the wane, while other forms of dispute resolution prosper.  This stuff is like counting angels on pinheads.”

Reviewed by Hugh Selby © who, along with his NITA friends Chris Behan and Charlie Rose, runs, a blog with a focus for all those interested in improving the teaching and learning of advocacy skills, especially at law school.  He is based at the Australian National University.

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.
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