The Legal Advocate

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Category Archives: Publications

Trending: Life Imitates Case Files, Part II

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stantonCaseFileA couple weeks ago, we told you about a lawsuit involving pool floats that sounded straight out of a NITA case file. Well, here we go again, with a news report about someone in the beauty pageant world suing for defamation—or as it’s called here at NITA, Stanton v. Armstrong.

Miss Florida Lost Her Crown; Now She Wants $15M

What’s next, litigants of the world? A real estate ripoff involving retirees in the wine country? A baseball fan getting dinged with a souvenir bat? Dairy cows being poisoned by energy extraction near the farm?

We wouldn’t be surprised.

After all, #nitadiditfirst.

CodeX on Demonstratives

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★ ★ ★ ★ Stanford Law Blawg Rates NITA’s Demonstratives eBook

CodeX, Stanford Law’s technology-oriented blawg, recently gave high marks to Demonstratives: Making Effective Graphics for Trial, a new eBook written by Los Angeles-based trial technologist and NITA author John Cleaves.

CodeX Book Club, Chapter 17—John Cleaves: Demonstratives

We’re thrilled to see John, a trial technology attorney and the manager of the Trial Technology Consulting team at Latham & Watkins LLP, receive recognition from one of the top law school tech programs in the country. He’s written an eBook that shows you not only how to create interesting demonstrative exhibits your jurors won’t soon forget, but also—crucially—how those exhibits fit into the narrative you’ll tell them about your client’s case.

Believe it or not, all of the graphics and animations you see in this video were created by John in PowerPoint.

Demonstratives will show you, step by step, how you, too, can create similar exhibits that will elevate the way you advocate for your clients in the courtroom.

Congratulations, John!

Many thanks to Monica Bay at CodeX for both her review and permission to share her review.

State v. Dawson, Second Edition

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stateVdawsonCoverFrom the American Mock Trial Association comes the second edition of State v. Dawson, a case file which delves into the outcome of a car crash. As the case goes, on September 24th, Vanessa Sullivan, daughter of Nita’s most prominent prosecutor, celebrated her 21st birthday with two friends, Taylor Hopson and Danny Dawson at a bar. After several hours the three left in a car driven by Dawson. On the way home, Dawson lost control and crashed the car, killing Sullivan.

A special prosecutor was appointed because of the conflict of interest in having the victim’s parent’s office prosecute the case. A grand jury has returned a multi-count indictment charging the defendant, Danny Dawson, with murder and driving under the influence.

There are four witnesses for the prosecution and four for the defense. The exhibits include an audio recording of the voicemail left by Vanessa Sullivan immediately before the crash.

Retail Price: $38

Order Now in: Print or Epub (ipad, Kobo, Nook, Sony)

Pool Float Lawsuit Rings a Bell . . .

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SwimTime coverLast summer, USPTO patent judge and NITA author Ryan H. Flax wrote our very first case file on patent law, SwimTime Corp. v. Water-Fun, Inc., a complex case involving the alleged design infringement of pool floats.

Yes. Pool floats.

So, imagine our surprise here in the Publications Department when, a year later, we came across a story in Jezebel (hey, no judging!) about a complex case involving the alleged design infringement of . . . pool floats.

The Pool Float Frenzy Has Unleashed Legal Drama

Judge Flax’s response to the weird Venn diagram of “life imitates art imitates life” overlapping with “it’s déjà vu all over again”?


And thanks to Judge Flax, yes, we did.

Demonstratives: Making Effective Graphics for Trial

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demonstratives2-finalAuthor John Cleaves latest ebook, Demonstratives: Making Effective Graphics for Trial, teaches the reader step by step how to develop a consistent theme or “brand” throughout your demonstratives so they have their own look and feel that jurors can readily identify as your side of the case. Likewise, he creates a variety of timelines that tell and sell your client’s story in the order it happened, make your important quotes look like they were created by a professional graphic artist, transform data charts, and so much more!

If you have often wondered how you can use tools such as PowerPoint to your advantage by learning how to visually bring your case to life, then this ebook is right for you. This ebook’s functionality is optimized on an iPad because it enables you to pinch-zoom the graphics to view the details, but it may also be downloaded to your desktop and viewed with Adobe Digital Editions.

Available in eBook 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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