Trial Advocacy

Some Thoughts About Trial Strategy

Some Thoughts About Trial Strategy

Trial strategy is an attorney’s comprehensive plan that when executed will provide the best chance of success in a litigated matter. Attorneys may use certain tactics throughout a trial as tools for specific purposes designed to implement this strategy. Since every legal matter differs when considering the underlying facts of each matter, applicable law, the measure of damages, defenses, etc., so must every trial strategy differ. Approaches to trial strategy may be far-ranging. There are basic, straightforward ideas as well as concepts that delve into the psychological realm and utilize other advanced approaches. The basic concepts of trial strategy involve the simple...

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Ten Tips For Voir Dire

Ten Tips For Voir Dire

Generally. voir dire involves the preliminary examination of a juror by counsel. Frankly, voir dire is the mechanism through which attorneys select, or perhaps more appropriately reject, certain jurors to sit and hear a case. It is also a phrase used for a variety of procedures related to jury trials. Here are ten tips for effective voir dire. Adopt the proper orientation. Questioning during voir dire should be “conversational” rather than like an interview. Tell jurors why they are there. Explain the process to jurors requesting, if not cordially demanding, their honesty and candor, while helping them acknowledge their biases. Get jurors...

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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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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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Finding Your Comfort Zone In Public Speaking

Finding Your Comfort Zone In Public Speaking

At CDTA College of Law, all of your classes take place in our beautiful courtrooms/classrooms. From your first day of classes as a 1L, you will find yourself in a courtroom for every class. By the time you graduate, you will have a huge advantage over other law grads as you will feel exceptionally comfortable speaking in a courtroom. However, you may still benefit from some public speaking pointers specifically addressing courtroom speaking. Many attorneys have mixed feelings about public speaking, or, more specifically, speaking in a courtroom setting. It is not uncommon for attorneys to express that they have feelings...

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The Tools Of Trial Advocacy: The Opening Statement

The Tools Of Trial Advocacy: The Opening Statement

A good opening statement is an effective trial advocacy tool. It carries a theme and tells a story that grabs the attention of the jury. Although the purpose of an opening statement is not to argue the case, it is nonetheless an attorney advocate’s first opportunity to persuade the jury. Objectively, there are some tips a trial lawyer can use to formulate an effective opening statement. Subjectively, advocates must find and develop those unique aspects of their personality, whether a strong voice or effective speaking style, etc., that will help them present a good opening statement. Jurors often base their final...

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