Joseph "Joe" C. Jaudon Jr., Senior Partner at Jaudon & Avery LLP, and NITA Board Emeritus and Faculty member in our early days, passed away on February 12, 2019. Joe taught with NITA for a number of years early on and then became a Board Member in 1987 - 2003. Joe was a huge supporter of NITA from the beginning and was cherished and loved by so many.
NITA Board Member, John T. Baker, who worked closely with Joe in the early years, stated, "Joe Jaudon was a major role model for me in my legal career. That's a bit unusual, because I am a lifetime 'plaintiff's lawyer.' Joe was a celebrated and extremely effective 'insurance defense lawyer.' Joe Jaudon was on the defense of some of my cases. As he often said to me 'a lawyer's word is his/her bond.' As a result no agreements on logistics and case arrangements ever needed to be put in writing with Joe. He was a paragon and role model for many of us in the profession of legal ethics and professionalism. This modelling carried over into his NITA teaching as well. In lectures or discussions about courtroom tactics, Joe always talked about being the son of a 'Baptist Minister.' As such, he advocated that in every argument, or with every witness called at trial - truth and honesty had to be portrayed. Otherwise, a lawyer would lose all credibility with the jury or judge."
Similarly, Gerald D. Pratt, President of the Colorado Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), stated, "Joe was one of the greats in our profession - a friend, colleague, mentor, and inspiration to us. Let's be thankful for the fact that we had Joe in our lives and let's vow to spread his professionalism and inspiration to others in our profession."
Likewise, NITA Program Director and longtime friend of Joe's, Mark Caldwell, stated, "Joe Jaudon was the lawyer we all wanted to be when we grew up! As a trial lawyer, his work in the courtroom was the stuff of legends as he was often opposed to the very best lawyers of the plaintiff’s bar. As a friend, he was the person you could always count on for advice or assistance. As an opponent, he was someone to be feared. Yet, he was always the gentleman, in the best sense of the word. He was the ultimate professional and his guiding stars were the Rules of Professional Responsibility and the various guides to professionalism. Joe Jaudon is the reason I spent the bulk of my professional career working for NITA. I was working at the University of Denver’s College of Law, running the school’s continuing education arm. One year, I offered a NITA-like trial program where Joe was a member of the teaching team. A few months later I was called into the Dean’s office. Dan Hoffman, another of Colorado’s great trial lawyers, was the law school’s Dean. There in his office sat Joe Jaudon and John Baker. The Dean said to me that he was pleased with the school’s program but that it would continue in the future as a NITA program. That began my work for NITA and it has continued for another thirty plus years. Joe Jaudon learned his craft long before there was a National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He once told me that he mastered the skills of advocacy by going to the courthouse every day and watching trials. He copied what he thought worked and made note of the things that failed. He would then practice his ideas with his family and would take any small case to trial - just so he could work on his skills. NITA was so important to Joe because it offered a better way for young lawyers to learn the craft of advocacy. He preferred the experiential classroom to mastering skills at the expense of clients. I owe my career to Joe Jaudon. I am proud to say Joe Jaudon was my friend and mentor. I am honored he chose me as someone who would be his colleague and friend."
Joe had a significant impact on NITA and his passion for advocacy training was extremely apparent in the way he carried himself and the way he discusssed the importance of NITA. Check out this short video of Joe addressing the crowd gathered at Denver law firm, Davis Graham & Stubbs, in celebration of NITA's 40th Anniversary, back in 2011. In this video, Joe spoke about the creation of NITA in 1971, and the continued impact NITA faculty and participants have.
Joe touched the lives of so many of NITA's longtime faculty members and we will be forever grateful for his contribution to advocacy training. Please click here to read the memorial page.