The Legal Advocate

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Category Archives: Publications

State v. Donaldson

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NITA’s case file, State v. Donaldson, by authors Joseph E. Taylor and Michael Sands, illustrates the shocking death of a 6-month-old and begs the question, is someone to blame? In this case, 6-month-old Cara O’Neil died from a mysterious head injury. The State of Nita has charged Stephen Donaldson with murder in the second degree, but he claims he did nothing more than comfort and care for his stepdaughter after she fell out of her crib days before her death. This case included 5 witnesses for the plaintiff and 4 for the defendant as well as video evidence from the scene. Is Stephen Donaldson to blame for his stepdaughter’s untimely death?

Retail Price: $38

Order Here in: Print 

Problems and Materials in Evidence and Trial Advocacy 2-Volume Set

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In this newly updated two-volume set, Robert Burns, Steven Lubet, and Richard Moberly have carefully developed these case files in order to provide for completely integrated courses in evidence and trial advocacy.

Volume One contains two detailed case files, quite similar to the material a trial lawyer may have as he or she approaches trial. The first is a murder case while the second is a civil action for defamation.

Furthermore, Volume Two is designed as the workbook for coordinated courses in evidence and trial advocacy. It contains over 300 problems in evidence law and over 60 exercises in trial advocacy.

Retail Price: $130

Order Here: Print, Epub, or Mobi

Hughes Hubbard, NITA Collaborate on Federal Trial Practice Guide

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Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) are pleased to announce the release of a new guide for federal court trial lawyers.

Entitled “Playing To Win: Appellate Preservation for Trial Lawyers in Federal Court,” the guide is co-authored by Hughes Hubbard lawyers Robb Patryk, Ross Lipman, and Jonathan Misk and addresses appellate preservation rules, techniques, and case law applicable to every stage of trial.

“Hughes Hubbard presented NITA with an informative and engaging discussion on federal trial practice, and we are excited to make this guide, the product of their hard work, available to those in our NITA family who practice in federal courts,” said Jennifer Schneider, Director of Publishing and Digital Content at NITA.

The guide is free of charge as a courtesy to trial lawyers on Hughes Hubbard’s and NITA’s websites and their respective social media platforms. Click here to download.

About Hughes Hubbard & Reed
Hughes Hubbard is a New York City-based international law firm that offers clients results-focused legal services and a collaborative approach across a broad range of practices. Hughes Hubbard was founded in 1888 by the distinguished jurist and statesman Charles Evans Hughes and is renowned for its trial and appellate practice in complex cases, including litigation involving issues related to product liability and toxic torts, antitrust and competition, corporate reorganization, international arbitration, and patent and intellectual property. For more information, visit

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.

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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