National Institute for Trial Advocacy

For updates on NITA's COVID-19 response, click here

  • Mar 27, 2020
By Alli Varoglu Mar 27, 2020
dale blog image.jpg (31 KB)

Written by NITA guest blogger Jeremy Nataf* The term “in camera” applies in two significant and distinct contexts. The first is when testimony is given outside the presence of the parties. One example is when a child may testify in a custody or dependency proceeding.[1] The second context is when the court needs to review material outside the presence of counsel and parties. The most common use of the second context is when there is a discovery dispute with a claim of privilege. Thi...

  • Mar 25, 2020
By Brent E. Newton Mar 25, 2020
brent newton pic.jpg (23 KB)

Written by NITA guest blogger Brent E. Newton The chief federal district judges in the four federal districts in Texas recently have signed “general” or “special” orders purporting to toll the deadlines under the federal criminal statutes of limitations concerning matters pending before federal grand juries in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. All four orders use similar language, which makes me suspect that other federal districts have already followed or soon may follow s...

  • Mar 19, 2020
By Alli Varoglu Mar 19, 2020

On February 20–22 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, NITA Program Director Judge Marian Gaston led a NITA public service course for 64 child advocacy attorneys. This three-day course taught trial skills, including: storytelling through theme, closing argument, direct and cross-examination, impeachment, and use of exhibits. According to Judge Gaston, “The program in New Mexico was exceptional in part because it involved attorneys working in every aspect of New Mexico’s child welfare s...

  • Mar 10, 2020
By Monique Carter Mar 10, 2020

Written by NITA guest blogger and Program Director, Monique Carter

When it comes to cross examination, the “I don’t know (IDK)” response should put the skilled examiner on high alert.   This is an opportunity to move the theme and theory forward.  When “IDK” is given, it’s time to pull out tools from the proverbial tool chest and start drilling down: Tool 1:  The Knock Out.  The “IDK” can give you the opportunit...

  • Mar 06, 2020
By Cary Pollak Mar 06, 2020

Written by NITA guest blogger and faculty member, Cary Pollak

Bravo to NITA for helping women (and all participating lawyers) be the best that they can be, and in particular for addressing the issues identified in the four bullet points listed in this month’s Executive Director Letter.

First, my observation as a long time NITA faculty member is that NITA’s learn by doing and immediate feedback approach builds confidence in practicing attorneys as well or better...

  • Mar 05, 2020
By Alli Varoglu Mar 05, 2020

NITA has had the good fortune to continue to partner with the Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation since our first successful joint course in 2019. In Tampa, Florida, on January 29–30, NITA Program Director Bill Elward and NITA Faculty Lisa Marcy led a deposition skills course for 16 Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation attorneys. According to Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation Regional Counsel Member Brad Bobbitt, “The NITA deposition training was very effective. The presenters we...

  • NITA Education Center
  • Mar 03, 2020
By Wendy McCormack Mar 03, 2020
McCormack_FINAL.jpg (1.77 MB)

In the spirit of Women’s History Month, I asked a few of our NITA teachers what comes to mind around the topic of Women in the Law. All their responses pointed to similar things: the statistics in the industry for women and minorities, the lack of confidence in women, and how important it is for women to help other women. According to the ABA, there has only been a 5% increase in the number of women in the legal field (now at 35%) in the past ten years. While women make up about 45% of...

  • NITA Education Center
  • Feb 18, 2020
By Reuben A. Guttman Feb 18, 2020
Mass Tort Deals cover.jpg (22 KB)

In 1965, Ralph Nader published Unsafe at Any Speed, an exposé on automobile safety, and since its publication, consumer faith in product safety has never been the same. The early efforts of Nader and his legion of young lawyers and researchers—who came to be known as Nader’s Raiders—spurred the growth of products liability litigation. Nader gave consumers and their counsel a reason to go to court: they challenged the safety of products from cars to cribs, and the courtr...

  • NITA Education Center
  • Feb 13, 2020
By Alli Varoglu Feb 13, 2020

Over the years, NITA Program Director Michael J. Dale, along with a number of his research assistants, have contributed a wide array of articles to NITA’s blog, The Legal Advocate. The topics for these articles deal with practical litigation issues that have arisen in trial and deposition skills training programs throughout the country. With new articles coming in February and March and another whitepaper on the way, we wanted to give readers a chance to check out Professor Dale’s pr...

  • NITA Education Center
  • Feb 06, 2020
By Wendy McCormack Feb 06, 2020
group photo.jpg (700 KB)

I recently saw the movie Just Mercy. It follows attorney Bryan Stevenson through the creation of the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama, an organization founded to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation. The story of Walter MacMillan, a man convicted of a murder he did not commit, was a stark example of how unjust and prejudiced our society can be. My thoughts on the movie tie back into NITA’s recent training on bias and diversity. Earlier this...

Join Our Email List Or Update How You Hear From Us