National Institute for Trial Advocacy

Persuasive Storytelling and Presentation in the Courtroom

April 18,2019 thru April 19,2019
American University Law
4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Tuition: $2345.00

Part One:

Constructing a Winning Case Story

A powerful story wins the case. Told effectively, a story can grab the attention of jurors and judges in a matter of minutes and keep them engaged throughout the trial. This seminar shows attorneys of all levels of experience how to build a case story with persuasive power. Lawyers learn powerful techniques for activating the visual mind of the jurors - getting them to “see” the story in their imagination - thus leading them to draw their own conclusions that are consistent with your case theme.

Part Two:

Speaking with Confidence

In an era when attention spans are shorter and patience is limited, a lawyer still must make a lasting impact. Credibility is earned over time, but an impression of credibility must be established in a matter of minutes. In this seminar, lawyers will learn the techniques that separate an average litigator from a dynamic one: command of space, use of voice, and management of time. Attorneys will learn how they can use vocal inflection and body language to give arguments meaning and create a lasting impression on jurors.

Focus Areas:
Openings and Closings/Witness Examinations

Focus on speaking like a person, not a lawyer

Tell the complete story: beginning, middle, and end

Share that story with the jury through eye contact

Make the jurors an active part of the trial

Establish relationships between yourself, witnesses, and jurors

Learn how to get the jury to see the witness from your point of view

You’re encouraged to use a current or past case as the basis for your opening statement. A NITA case file will be provided if you prefer to use that instead.

*Qualifies as one credit toward the NITA Advocate Designation

David Mann

High Stakes Presenting
St. Anthony, MN

See Full Bio

You may check in for the program from 8:00am to 9:00am on Thursday, April 18  The program will start promptly at 9:00am on that date and will conclude by 5:45pm on Friday, April 19. The program will be held at the following location. 

American University Washington College of Law
4801 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Visit Law School Website


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

Courtyard Marriott

(2.0 miles from School)

5520 Wisconsin Ave

Chevy Chase, MD 20815


Marriot Courtyard Chevy Chase

Days Inn Washington, DC

(2.0 miles from School)

4400 Connecticut Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20008


Days Inn Washington, D.C.


Taxi fare from Baltimore-Washington International Airport, National, and Dulles ranges from $30.00 to $90.00.  National Airport is the closest:  it is a 15-minute ride to/from the hotel.  There are no shuttles available from the airports to the hotel. 

The school has great directions for walking, driving or taking the metro, on their website: Information

Go to the parking garage immediately next to the law school. Please inform the attendant that you are attending Persuasive Power in the Courtroom.


Coffee, beverages and snacks will be provided throughout the day.

A light breakfast is provided both days.

Day one, lunch will be on your own; Day two, lunch will be provided.


Day one: business casual and Day two: courtroom attire.

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.

In advance of the course, participants must:

Read and know the case. As this is a course focused on presentation and storytelling, pay particular attention to the depositions for story details and characters.

Choose to represent either the Plaintiff or Defendant. Write a short opening statement (approximately 5 minutes) that captures the story you want to tell from your side of the case.

All participants will be required to deliver their opening twice (the second time after revision).

All participants will be required to revise their opening between days one and two.

If you sign up 2 weeks prior to the course you will receive the case file electronically and the textbook will be shipped UPS Ground to the address on your application.

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: