Author: cdtalaw

Tools Of Trial Advocacy – Direct Examination

Tools Of Trial Advocacy – Direct Examination

The ability to effectively question witnesses and elicit information is a necessary and crucial skill for an attorney advocate to develop and master. Any attorney who plans on a legal career that involves litigation must address this valuable skill and tool of trial advocacy. According to one judge, direct examination of a witness is one of the rare times that an attorney has a substantial measure of control over how the story of a witness, including client, gets told to the jury in the most compelling manner, logically presented and uninterrupted. The direct examination of witnesses is the most important component...

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CDTA: Making The Difference

CDTA: Making The Difference

When John Patrick Dolan and Irene Garcia Dolan were inspired to start the California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) they wanted to provide a path to the legal profession that featured a more practical and modern approach to the way that law students were educated. The Dolans were inspired to not only train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys, but to also train them to be exceptional trial advocates. Simply put, the Dolans wanted the CDTA to provide a law school experience different from that offered by traditional schools. CDTA accepted its first class of students in 2012, focusing on a more...

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Preparing for Your 1st Year Of Law School At The CDTA

Preparing for Your 1st Year Of Law School At The CDTA

Like traditional law schools, CDTA’s curriculum is designed to teach students the substantive law of core subject areas. Unlike traditional law schools, CDTA emphasizes training and developing students to be capable and competent advocates in any courtroom. The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) is a 21st Century law school that moves students toward a successful legal career on the first day of class. We believe that practical experience in tandem with legal knowledge is the best road to a successful, rewarding, and prosperous legal career. We (hopefully) experience many significant events in our lives. A few of these events fill us...

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Reconciling Priorities In The Attorney-Client Relationship

Reconciling Priorities In The Attorney-Client Relationship

The California Desert Trial Academy supplements traditional law school curriculum with both hard and soft skills, as well as the values and historical perspective that equip students to be lawyers on the day that they graduate from the CDTA. We help students develop the interpersonal skills necessary to serve clients. This includes the ability to effectively communicate with clients to fully understand their needs, goals, and expectations. When anyone hires an attorney, he or she has expectations about what the relationship will produce whether money damages, specific performance of a contract, criminal defense, or other remedy or service. Clients also have specific...

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Tools Of Trial Advocacy – Preparing For Voir Dire

Tools Of Trial Advocacy – Preparing For Voir Dire

There are many tools of trial advocacy that are important for attorney-advocates to perfect in law school and their practice. One tool that is often overlooked is the voir dire process – choosing a jury. The process of selecting those individuals responsible for fact-finding and deciding a legal matter is not one to be taken lightly. Voir dire may help attorneys identify jurors who can be fair and impartial, rather than unfair and biased. Attorneys are seeking those members of the jury pool who need to be removed and the questions of attorneys should be structured to expose them. As a preliminary...

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CDTA’s Courtroom Atmosphere

CDTA’s Courtroom Atmosphere

The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) is a modern, 21st Century law school. We provide legal instruction with an emphasis on transforming law students into not just lawyers, but effective attorney-advocates. One way that the CDTA facilitates this unique focus on the training of attorney-advocates is how each class provides a courtroom, rather than a classroom, atmosphere because it is in a real courtroom setting. Every class in each subject is presented by one of CDTA’s experienced professors in CDTA’s modern courtroom facilities. In fact, class sessions at CDTA typically include more than one legal scholar. These professionals interact with students...

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There are Many Paths To A Meaningful Legal Career – Alternate Dispute Resolution

There are Many Paths To A Meaningful Legal Career – Alternate Dispute Resolution

One of the benefits of a legal education is that law school graduates are not limited to careers working exclusively in the legal profession. There are many career paths for graduates, especially those that have developed into effective attorney-advocates. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a viable career for law school graduates although entering the field may require some years of experience practicing law. In fact, ADR may seem like less of an alternative career path than others because of its relationship to the litigation process. A diverse curriculum, like that of the California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA), helps law students develop...

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Studying & Time Efficiency

Studying & Time Efficiency

By now, graduate-level students know that having time to study is only beneficial if such time is used wisely. One of the most important (soft) skills in law school is maximizing time efficiency when studying. Closely related to this skill are a law student’s organizational and time-management skills. Law students who are not organized will probably be less efficient with the time they expend studying and preparing for class. Here are some tips to help law students get the most out of the precious time they have allotted to study. *Specifically designate your tasks for each study session. Do not just...

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Study Groups: Dividing The Workload

Study Groups: Dividing The Workload

When discussing the best ways to study while in law school, the mention of study groups tends to elicit differing reactions. Some students thrive in such groups while others perceive them as useless and a waste of valuable time. The success of a study group often depends on how and what work is divided among its members. In any given semester, the opportunities to participate in a study group may be minimal and any interested student may have to initiate the process. It is not unusual for many students to have little or no interest in study groups, which may make...

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How Long Should An Attorney Retain Client Records?

How Long Should An Attorney Retain Client Records?

Physical space may not be as great an issue in the digital age regarding the storage of client files, but the fact remains that the storage of client files is necessary for some time. But how long? Each state’s Rules of Professional Conduct specifically describe trust account records and for how long they must be kept by an attorney. A state’s ethical rules typically prescribe, as suggested standards, minimum periods for retaining client files that pertain to certain practice areas, with exception of trust account records. Attorneys are free to choose a longer or shorter term of retention of client files....

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