National Institute for Trial Advocacy

ABA Family Law Trial Advocacy

July 13,2019 thru July 20,2019
NITA Education Center
1685 38th Street
Boulder, CO 80301
Tuition: $3400.00


The National Institute for Trial Advocacy is the world-wide leader in advocacy skills training. NITA brings its forty years of educational leadership in learning-by-doing to bear in this specialized program for family law practitioners. Working in partnership with the American Bar Association’s Section of Family Law this program covers all of the skills used in a divorce proceeding, including the examination of fact and expert witnesses, introduction of exhibits, making and meeting objections, opening statement and closing argument.


There’s no better place for you to practice what we preach than in a NITA classroom, where our advocacy instructors:

• help you break down what makes for effective openings and closings

• instructs you on how to direct and cross to greater effect

• demonstrates what are the best practices for admitting and using exhibits

• provides you with the tools to utilize the right tactics to impeach and rehabilitate witnesses


Participants work in groups of six or eight in a simulated courtroom environment. Each student takes an active role in their learning by honing his or her trial skills through performance and constructive feedback from instructors. Lectures and demonstrations are kept to a minimum as everyone learns through hands-on experience. Law schools and other CLE providers have adopted NITA teaching methods for their own programs.


Now, you might argue that you don’t have time to leave your work and clients to attend a multi-day training session. Or maybe you can’t justify investing even more money in professional development after law school tuition and loans.

Our question for you is, what is your current skillset costing you in terms of confidence untapped? Leadership unstirred? Verdicts un-won?

Even if nine out of every ten of your cases settle before trial, when you learn trial skills by actually doing them, it translates into better outcomes for your clients. Whether you litigate, mediate, settle, or simply meet face to face with your client for advice, understanding the complexities of a trial empowers you to be a more influential advocate for your clients, in court—and out.

The ABA scholarship deadline is Monday, April 1st. In order to apply for a scholarship through the ABA, please fill out the scholarship application here.The ABA will contact you regarding your application.

NITA discounts and scholarships are not applicable for this program.

Based on a 60-minute hour, it is anticipated that participants of this trial skills program will receive 44.25 units of credit and one unit of ethics.

California and Florida Attorneys: The ABA/NITA Family Law TAI course counts towards certification in marital and family law specialization.

Read more about the program here.


– Course Materials

– Video Performance Review and Feedback

– Counseling by special expert in communications and theater for private half-hour session

– Interactive Half-Day Jury Trial with Feedback


"I thought the course was excellent. I feel much more confident about my ability to do direct, cross, enter exhibits, present opening/closing statements, etc." - Sarah Fitzgerald, Thompson & Knight

"I am amazed at how much I was able to learn about myself, new techniques and effective case presentation. I gained more from this seminar than I ever thought possible, and I think this course is vital for any lawyer who finds themselves in a courtroom." - Mallory Deckard, Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn LLP

"I really enjoyed the course and thought the practice of getting on your feet and practicing the trial techniques was very beneficial. I also thought the instructors I had each day were very knowledgeable and helpful." - Jeffrey Basso, Campolo Middleton & McCormick LLP

Mark S. Caldwell

Boulder, CO

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Steven N. Peskind

Peskind Law Firm
St Charles, IL

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John H. Tatlock

Epstein Patierno LLP
Denver, CO

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Robert L. McGahey

Denver District Court
Denver, CO

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Stacey N. Warren

CashattWarren Family Law, P.C.
Des Moines, IA

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Brent A. Cashatt

CashattWarren Family Law, P.C.
Des Moines, IA

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F. Stephen Collins

Rio Verde, AZ

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Janet A. Battey

Ferro Battey MacNamara
Darien, CT

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Marlana Caruso

Robinson & Henry PC
Highlands Ranch, CO

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Lauren Melhart

Kinser Bates LLP
Dallas, TX

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Thomas Lee Stewart

St Louis Univ Schl Of Law
St Louis, MO

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Jim Lawrence

Univ of Houston Law Center
Houston, TX

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Michelle T. Hannigan

Hannigan Law Firm LLC
Denver, CO

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Afi S. Johnson-Parris

Ward Black Law
Greensboro, NC

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Daniel N. Deasy

Ammarell Deasy LLP
Englewood, CO

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Ashley Willcott

Ashley Willcott Atty At Law
Atlanta, GA

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Mario Raymond Ventrelli

Ventrelli | Simon LLC
Northfield, IL

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Jamie L. Wright

Wright Family Law

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Thomas A. Swett

Louisville, CO

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Stephanie M. Ledesma

Thurgood Marshall Law Sch
Sugar Land, TX

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Christopher C. Melcher

Walzer & Melcher
Woodland Hills, CA

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Beth Padilla

Padilla Law PC
Mancos, CO

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Todd R. Warren

Katz Goldstein & Warren
Bannockburn, IL

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D. Brett Woods

Denver Juvenile Court
Denver, CO

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Stacy Collins

Financial Research Associates
New York, NY

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John W. Madden IV

Denver District Court
Denver, CO

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Rachel A. Carey

Attorney at Law
Louisville, CO

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Catherine Holland Petersen

Petersen Henson Meadows et al
Norman, OK

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Annmarie Briones

Cohen & Wolf
Bridgeport, CT

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Sol R. Rappaport

Counseling Connection
Libertyville, IL

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Nathan Bucar

Cage Bucar Lewis
Broomfield, CO

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Darryl Shockley

Denver District Court
Denver, CO

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You may sign in for the program from 10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. on July 13, 2019 with the program starting at 10:30 a.m. The program concludes July 20, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. Do not schedule airline flights from Denver International Airport until 6:00 p.m. or later.

NITA Education Center (NEC)
1685 38th Street, Suite 200
Boulder, CO 80301-2735


Participants are responsible for making their own hotel arrangements. Please contact the hotel directly for reservations and additional information.

St. Julien Hotel and Spa

900 Walnut Street

Boulder, CO 80302

Group Rate: $279 per night

Reference: ABA Family Law

Residence Inn Boulder

3030 Center Green Drive
Boulder, CO 80303
(1.8 miles from the NEC)

Marriott hotel(s) offering your special group rate at the Residence Inn Boulder for $199.00 per night

Start date: 7/13/19
End date: 7/20/19
Last day to book: 6/21/19

Book your group rate for NITA ABA Family Law Trail Advocacy

Courtyard Boulder
4710 Pearl E Circle
Boulder, CO 80301
(1.3 miles from the NEC)


The Denver International Airport (DIA) is about one hour from Boulder.  The Boulder Super Shuttle has an airport shuttle that goes between DIA and Boulder and is open daily from 5:00am until 12:30am.  For more information, please call 303.227.0000.  Note: Travel time may be up to 3 hours.

Union Cab has taxis at DIA 24 hours a day; 7 days a week.  You can catch one at a cab stand outside on the 5th level of the airport.  Cost will be approximately $100.00 one way.  Please call 303.922.2222 to schedule a pick-up.

Parking Information

Parking is free at the NEC and the hotel.


Lunch will be provided everyday along with breaks and beverages.


Please dress as if you would for court. The first Saturday and Tuesday are casual attire days.

CLE Credits

All states have different MCLE requirements. Please make sure that the state(s) you require credit for were either noted in your registration or communicated to the Program Specialist prior to the start of the program. NITA will not apply to states for course approval after the start of the program. Please note that if you do not complete the program in its entirety, some states do not award partial credit.

For an estimate of credit hours by program type, please see below.

States Based on a 50 Minute Credit Hour:
Trial Program: 36-75 Credits
Deposition Program: 16-25 Credits
Specialty Program: 8-22 Credits

States Based on a 60 Minute Credit Hour:
Trial Program: 30-63 Credits
Deposition Program: 13-21 Credits
Specialty Program: 7-20 Credits

If you need to know the exact number of credits for a specific program please contact your Program Specialist.


Program materials will be shipped approximately four weeks prior to program's start date from our fulfillment company Wolters Kluwer. The materials packaging will be from Wolters Kluwer not NITA so please watch out for this shipment.

Time for preparation during the program is extremely limited. In order to get the maximum benefit from the program, it is imperative that you prepare as much as possible in advance. You should read and become thoroughly familiar with the materials (problems and/or case files) assigned in the daily schedule. You should also prepare the first day’s assigned exercises. There will be limited time for preparation during the program (class sessions generally last from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.), so prepare as much as possible in advance.


Effective lawyers are masters of all case facts. Every participant will also serve as a witness during the program. Your advanced reading should focus not only on reviewing the case materials to do your exercises but also in becoming familiar enough with the facts so you can play each witness listed in the program schedule. It is critical you know the facts to be most effective in the exercises and to serve the role of the witness. Without advance preparation your learning experience is diminished. Please prepare to help your fellow participants as they are preparing to make your performances better.

Advocate Designation

Are you serious about developing a well-rounded foundation in advocacy skills?
Prove it by completing the NITA Advocate Designation program.

Be recognized for your NITA training! Achieving a NITA Designation allows you to demonstrate your expertise to clients and colleagues. Upon completion of your required coursework, NITA will send you a letter, certificate and an e-mail with a special graphic logo attached. Use these documents to demonstrate your advocacy knowledge through your website, advertising, etc. The NITA Designation logo will also be added to your Martindale-Hubble profile.

The required courses for the NITA Advocate Designation include one building trial skills course, one deposition skills course and one specialty course. The courses can be purchased individually but we also offer discounted package pricing.


(Total price if programs are purchased individually: $7135)

In addition to this trial skills course, here are the other upcoming required courses in your area: