The Legal Advocate

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Category Archives: Publications

State v. Gray

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Authors A.J. Bellido de Luna and Joseph E. Taylor create a fictionalized scenario that draws on inspiration from real-life occurrences in NITA’s publication, State v. Gray. This case file poses questions such as: what is the appropriate response for offices to take when they believe they’re in imminent mortal danger on the job? At what point does the use of force in an encounter diverge from being appropriate and justifiable, and cross into excessive and criminal?

Furthermore, State v. Gray avoids the issue of race on purpose to focus on whether the shooting of an unarmed individual is justified based on law. This well-balanced case file will challenge the student’s advocacy and medical and forensic expert witness skills through this full trial, which includes four witnesses per side. Students will prevail based entirely on their own prowess in advocacy and the way they use the abundance of evidence provided in the case file.

Retail Price: $38

Available in: Print or epub

Book Review by David L. Kwass: Jury Trials Outside In

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David L. Kwass, Partner at Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky PC, has recently reviewed the NITA published book by author Melissa M. Gomez, PhD, Jury Trials Outside In. Below is his review:

Jury Trials Outside In is a rare entry into the literature of jury trial analysis that is at once accessible and thought provoking, at once practical and theoretical. Whether explaining the theory of proactive interference, plumbing the mysteries of smiling jurors, or teaching us why phone numbers have 7 digits, Dr. Gomez’s concise tome offers powerful insights backed by memorable examples.

She answers questions about which trial lawyers on both sides of the “v” wonder and debate: Do jurors care about following rules or fairness? Can appeals to common sense backfire? How do I recognize thought leaders on my jury panel? Does the Sumo technique of yobi modoshi have an analog in modern trial practice?

Throughout this entertaining work, Dr. Gomez never loses track of her central theme, that the science of jury psychology can help us communicate more effectively with jurors. My advice? Buy the book and mark it up while reading. You’ll come back to it time and again, and be very glad you did.

Point Well Made: Oral Advocacy in Motion Practice

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Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik and Legal International Communications Coach Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla’s latest book, Point Well Made, teaches its readers how to effectively argue a motion before a judge. With invaluable perspectives from both on and off the bench, they teach you not only what to prepare before the hearing, but also how to be nimble and responsive upon arrival.

Vaidik and Diaz-Bonilla are both NITA Faculty who have continued to teach and specialize in oral advocacy for years. Diaz-Bonilla has been a Communication Specialist at several of our Custom Programs for the last 6 years. Vaidik has served as Program Director for both Custom and Public NITA programs since 2003 and has been part of the Faculty for more than 100 programs. Both Vaidik and Diaz-Bonilla have years of experience when it comes to arguing motions and therefore, you will gain the skills you need to feel more confident.

Point Well Made is a hands-on, practical guide that helps you devise your theme, persuasively relay your facts, simplify the law, prepare the right notes for the hearing, gain insight into your particular judge so you can customize your argument, and deliver the motion with confidence.

Retail Price: $60

Available in: Print

Quinlan v. Kane, Third Edition

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In NITA’s case file, Quinlan v. Kane, Third Editionat what point does a friendly conversation end and a business consultation begin? That is the question explored in this business contracts case file written by authors Frank D. Rothschild, Deanne C. Siemer, and Anthony J. Bocchino.

The plaintiff, Roberta Quinlan, demands a broker fee of $300,000 that she is convinced she is entitled to be paid for her services as a business broker. The defendant, Brian Kane, however, maintains that Quinlan simply offered friendly advice on the sale of his business, Kane Electronics, to Nita Computer World and therefore he owes her no fee. There are two witnesses for both the plaintiff and the defendant. This third edition also includes a CD that contains video deposition clips, exhibits, and a PowerPoint slide show.

Retail Price: $38

Order Here: Print or Epub 

Video Series Refines Your Edge in the Courtroom

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You know Brian Johnson and Marsha Hunter from their role as faculty in NITA programs and as authors of their popular series of “articulate” books on legal communication skills, The Articulate Advocate, The Articulate Attorney, and The Articulate Witness. Now there’s another way to gain the wisdom of their experience: through their video series Courtroom Communication Skills That Give You the Edge.

This series will teach you the winning technique the art of advocacy requires. Other programs teach you what to say in court; this series teaches you how you say it persuasively. Learn to speak persuasively as you think on your feet. Channel that adrenaline rush into compelling delivery. Find that zone of concentration where you reliably remember what to say next. Based on cutting-edge discoveries in brain research, gesture studies, linguistics, and sports psychology, Johnson and Hunter apply the 21st-century science of human factors to courtroom advocacy.

The six-part series, nearly 2½ hours in duration, features the following lessons:

• Finding Your Style: A Lesson in Persuasion
• Channeling Adrenaline for a Greater Presence in the Courtroom
• What Should You Do with Your Hands? The Definitive Answer
• Mastering the Art of Thinking, Structuring, and Remembering
• More Tools for Courtroom Persuasion
• Win Your Case: How to Practice

To purchase the video series, 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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